Home SENEGAL SENEGAL – Pikine residents demand extension of cemeteries

SENEGAL – Pikine residents demand extension of cemeteries

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The people of Pikine took to the streets to demand the extension of the cemeteries. The collective “Sama Suuf Ma Yokk Sama Armeel” organized a big march this Sunday, June 27, 2021 to ask the authorities to quickly find a solution to the situation of cemeteries located in Pikine, department of the Dakar region. A demonstration that succeeded the challenge of the mobilization since the inhabitants responded massively to the call, framed by Commissioner Ba de Pikine and the Fire Brigade of Guédiawaye. According to Daouda Gueye, in charge of the massification of the Collective, this fight led by young people mainly seems legitimate since the cemeteries are full since 2014.

These are determined Pikine residents who were on the streets this Sunday, June 27, 2021. The collective “Sama Suuf Ma Yokk Sama Armeel” called for a peaceful march to demand the extension of the Pikine cemeteries. The state of degradation and overpopulation of the cemeteries motivated this event. Moreover, gravediggers who struggle to find space, opt for the superposition of the bodies because of this lack of space. According to Daouda Gueye, the person in charge of the massification of the Collective, the cemeteries of Pikine which extend only on 4 hectares are unable to receive all the remains.

These disturbing and hopeless facts justify the struggle of local pikinois and pikinois of the diaspora whose family members are buried in this place. They want the authorities to find a quick solution to this crucial problem. “Pikine Municipal Cemetery is full. Since 2014, imams, neighborhood leaders and people have raised their voices, to alert and ask for its extension.Today, the cemetery is full, in fact, and gradually turns into a mass grave with the superposition of the bodies. This situation sometimes creates tensions between populations. These tensions are growing and are very risky,’ he said.

Said collective, together with the Collective for the Preservation of the Mbao Classified Forest, estimated that it remains behind the cemetery 12.7 hectares, Title Land DP-50. However, according to the collective, opportunists, in collision with politicians, are putting in place strategies to share this land base. That is why the members of the collective refused to allow access to the Mbao classified forest when there are enough spaces behind the cemeteries. “The Collective and the organizations grouped in the Mbao Platform for Sustainable Development would like to repeat to Abdou Karim Sall and Abdoulaye Thimbo that it is out of the question to take ten hectares of the Mbao Forest for a new cemetery, while the current Pikine Municipal Cemetery, opened in 1952 on 4 hectares, can be extended on 12.7 hectares (TF – DP/50). The area of this forest of Mbao has grown in a few years from more than 800 hectares to less than 600 hectares today, because of numerous aggressions. There is no question of touching it again,” recalled Daouda Gueye.

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Note that the latter remains of the dead Pikinois, was opened since 1952, six years before the independence of Senegal, a factor that explains the dilapidated and narrow of the building. Between January and July 2020, the number of people buried in the cemetery is higher than the cumulative years 2018 and 2019. In July 2020, for example, the peak was reached with 17 people buried in a single day.

The Collective “Sama Suuf Ma Yokk Sama Armeel”, composed of young Pikinois, imams and notables, has been leading the fight for the extension of cemeteries for more than 4 years. Many peaceful marches were organized to alert the authorities. The collective intends to continue the fight until it obtains the 12.7 hectares behind the cemeteries. A noble fight to say that the dead also deserve to have a last home worthy of the name so that their honored soul may rest in peace.

       

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