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Natural and Human Environmental Impacts Along the Senegalese Great Coast: Example of the Retba Lake Basin

Tony Rey


This article examines the various natural and climatic threats affecting Lake Retba and suggests ways of protecting a fragile littoral environment that is subject to severe climatic changes, erosion and agricultural over-exploitation. The of Lake Retba, often referred to as “Pink Lake,” consist of ponds, swamps, wetlands, lakes, and sandy and organic rich soils that are deteriorating due to decreased rainfall, growing drought conditions, and intensified agricultural production. The dryness of the lake, aridification of the soils, and salinisation of fresh groundwater and soils are aggravated by deforestation, agricultural pollution from pesticides, and erosion caused by tourism. Because Dakar and the state of Senegal depend on the eco-system of the lake, restoring the water quality of Lake Retba requires visionary political solutions to reverse the deleterious effect of climatic conditions and human activity.


Global Change; Naturals Risks; Environment; Erosion; Drought; Retba Lake; Niayes; Dakar; Senegal

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West Africa Review. ISSN: 1525-4488 (online).
Editors: Adeleke Adeeko, Nkiru Nzegwu, and Olufemi Taiwo.

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