Armed with rakes, sacks and gloves, volunteers cleaned up a beach on Senegal’s normally pristine coast. Dozens of mostly young people and even children collected rubbish on the sandy beach in Bargny, a town 35 km from the capital, Dakar. They followed a call by the environmental activist “Medza” to take part in World Cleanup Day.
Medza is a hip hop artist who, along with a group of volunteers, decided years ago to do something for the environment.
“Bargny is an ecological bomb,” he said while standing next to a pile of rubble and rubbish on the waterfront in his hometown.
For about 10 years, he and his group, called Crac Team Medza, not only cleaned the beach – and sometimes even the streets – but also held workshops and lectures with residents and local students to raise awareness about the environment.
Medza said the lack of public participation, as well as the lack of guidelines and actions by the authorities, put Bargny and other places in a very difficult position.
He cited industrial pollution, poor waste management and the lack of a proper sewage system forcing people to dump the trash and dirty water in unsuitable areas.
But while protecting the environment has been a challenge, Medza knows his work is starting to take off as he sees young people and dozens of children respond to his appeal to clean up the beach.
In addition to Senegal, 179 other countries took part in World Cleanup Day, according to supporters of the event.