Nouakchott in Danger of Being Swallowed by the Sea

Nouakchott in Danger of Being Swallowed by the Sea

sea-mauritaniaClimate change is taking a toll on Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott coupled with rising sea levels, lack of sanitation and rising population growth, Alex Duval Smith wrote for the Guardian from Nouakchott.

“Much of the city is at or below sea level, protected from the ocean only by an eroding dune,” deplored Smith who recommended moving the city as a sole solution in the face of multiple natural and human-propelled inconveniences.

“In the past decade, local and international studies have warned that the city is in danger of being swallowed by the sea,” he said.

Nouakchott has no mains drains. The population dump their solid waste and used water in stinking ponds. “It is disgusting and unhealthy. We have dengue fever, which was completely unknown in Nouakchott before,” Smith quoted a local as saying.

With a population of 800,000, Nouakchott is witnessing a frenzy of construction leading to fears of disastrous flooding when the rains come in August, Smith noted.

Two years ago, an environmental study dubbed, Resilience against climate change: Case of Nouakchott City, warned that the Mauritanian capital will face coastal flooding in the west, advance of sand dunes in the north and east and flooding by heavy rainfall in lowland areas.

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