“Bargny Dit Non Au Charbon” is a campaign led by local communities and activists in Senegal to oppose the proposed coal power plant in Bargny while pushing the government to invest in renewable energy.
Located 15km from the capital city Dakar, Bargny lies on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and is one of the towns that are most vulnerable to coastal erosion in Senegal. Already impacted by rising sea levels, reduced fisheries, and high levels of pollution from Sococim, the biggest cement plant in West Africa, Bargny is now also threatened by the construction of Senegal’s first coal power plant. Proposed in November 2005, the Sendou Coal Plant would be a 125MW power plant based on a Public-Private Partnership aimed at producing power using coal shipped from South Africa. This coal plant threatens local lifestyles as well as the livelihoods of thousands of local populations including more than 1,000 women and their families.
In the last ten years, community members have been raising the alarm, exposing the catastrophic human and ecological impacts facing the Bargny, Sendou, and Rufisque communities if the project would move ahead.
In December 2019, the government announced the Sendou Coal Plant will be turned into a gas facility. However, this announcement didn’t meet the expectations of local communities and activists as the gas facility is likely to have similar harmful impacts on the well-being of the people of Bargny, Sendou, and Rufisque. Based on evidence from around the world in terms of health and environmental effects on livelihoods of local communities, they are now calling on President Macky Sall for a total dismantling of the proposed facility and to invest instead in renewable energy.
Senegal, like many other African countries, has a rich abundance of natural resources that should be tapped into to satisfy its increasing energy needs. Solar and wind power have become affordable and competitive compared to fossil fuels sources of energy. Economic forecasts have shown that renewable energy sources like solar and wind will increase their share of global power generation from the current 7 percent to roughly 25 percent by 2040.