Clashes between security forces and residents of Ndiael since 2012 are creating the conditions for continued defiance towards Senhuile.
Senegal : Message from the Collective of the 37 villages of the Ndiael region to the President of the Republic
The concession of 20,000 hectares of Senegal River delta land occupied by poor farmers and herders to the Senhuile Company is continuing to cause social and environmental harm in the Ndiael, a region made up of 37 pastoral villages. The concession was a historic error on the part of President Wade and a blow against family farms in the Ndiael. The Collective of the 37 villages of the Ndiael region is asking the President of the Republic to give them back their land, without which they cannot survive.
Letter to the President of the Republic of Senegal regarding Ndiael land
Dear Mr. President:
The concession of 20,000 ha of Senegal River delta land occupied by poor farmers and herders to the Senhuile company is continuing to cause social and environmental harm in the Ndiael, a region made up of 37 pastoral villages.
The Collective of the 37 Villages of the Ndiael (Ngnith) hereby informs you once again of the gravity of the land conflict taking place in the Ndiael region.
In particular, relations between the foreign company Senhuile and local residents are degenerating into a conflict that poses an extreme threat to the stability of the Senegal River delta region. Clashes between security forces and residents of Ndiael (the communities of Ngnith, Ronkh and to a lesser extent Diama) since 2012 are leaving a bitter legacy and creating the conditions for continued frustration and defiance towards the company.
Attesting to this state of affairs are the human and physical calamities that have occurred in the Ndiael area, most tragically the deaths of three children including a 5-year-old boy, Djiby Kâ, and two 7-year-old sisters, Ramata and Dieynaba Kâ. In addition, hundreds of livestock animals (especially sheep) have been lost following the clearance of a large area of the Ndiael over the protests of local residents. These losses, with their grave psychological consequences, are conspiring to drive the residents of these local communities into poverty.
Given this situation of anxiety and severe concern on the part of the agropastoral communities of the Ndiael, the Collective of 37 Villages is counting on your support, Mr. President, and asking you to please:
1. Put a stop to the land grab taking place in the Ndiael, since this land is necessary for our subsistence and indeed our very lives;
2. Put an end to the violence deployed by Senhuile, which has prevented children, youth, and women from freely going about their business;
3. Stop the forced clearance of the land by Senhuile, which is dividing and corrupting the local population;
4. Authorize our peaceful public markets, applications for which have been repeatedly rejected;
5. Expel the Senhuile company from the Ndiael;
6. Repeal the Executive Order of 6 August 2012 and restore the land to its rightful owners so that they can pursue agropastoral development for the benefit of the local people;
7. Support our rural development project, which was designed by the Collective of the 37 Villages of the Ndiael for the benefit of local farmers and herders with a view to promoting intensive livestock production and family farming in accordance with our vision.
In anticipation of an affirmative response to our demand, we the members of the Collective of the 37 Villages of the Ndiael wish to express our loyalty and our availability to serve Senegal in the field of agropastoralism.
Collective of the 37 Villages of the Ndiael, commune of Ross Béthio, 24 October 2014
(Translation by GRAIN)