Popularly known as The quarry, the Bakoteh dump site is all that
remains of an old strip mining. The craters the old stone excavations left
behind now harbour the garbage of half a million people in Kanifing, the most
densely populated region of The Gambia. This is an open pit mine where waste is
disposed of indiscriminately and uncontrolled, which is causing a serious
environmental impact and a constant threat to the population health.
With an area equivalent to 25
football pitches, the Bakoteh dump site was one day a peripheral territory, a
suburb outside the residential areas. Nowadays, as a result of the rural exodus
and the rapid population growth in the metropolis, it is now cornered by the
urban nucleus. It has become a desolated and extremely unhealthy place in the
For many of the inhabitants of
Kanifing The quarry has been too long its worst nightmare and its
protests persist crying out the definitive cease of the dump site. However for
many others, this inhospitable place has become the last recourse to survive.
The poverty situation of the most disadvantaged families has led them to the
landfill in search of an opportunity; hundreds of people wander daily in the
trash in search of anything they can seize or sell in thrift stores in exchange
for some coins.