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74 Saint Louis · Senegal

We have selected 100 unique places on Earth that are projected to undergo profound changes within the next few generations. We based our selection of the 100 places on the 4th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Simply by drawing attention to the beauty of these places, 100 Places to Remember Before they Disappear creates an argument to preserve them. The 100 Places we have chosen to highlight, and the people who live in them, are in serious danger because of rising sea levels, rising temperatures and extreme weather events triggered by climate change. Among ambassadors are Joss Stone, Desmond Tutu for more info visit - Saint Louis · Senegal A City that Thrived for Centuries The heart of the colonial city Saint Louis is located on the island of Ndar where the River Senegal meets the Atlantic Ocean. The city has expanded eastwards to the mainland, where it is surrounded by marshes, and over time it has also encroached on the long narrow sand peninsula, the Langue de Barbarie, to the west. French traders founded Saint Louis on the uninhabited island of Ndar in 1659. Named after King Louis XIV, it served as the capital of French West Africa for nearly three centuries, making it one of the busiest cities on the continent, exporting slaves, ivory, gold, hides, gum Arabic and later ground nuts to Atlantic merchants. During this period, a Franco-African community emerged in Saint Louis. Descendants of local women and European merchants became indispensable middlemen in the trade between the middle and upper Senegal regions and the coast. This community constituted an important element in the economic life of the city and from it evolved a refined urban culture. The vivid life of Saint Louis started to fade when Senegal gained its independence in 1960 and Dakar was made the capital. Saint Louis has struggled to get by ever since. Today, its economy is based on tourism, sugar production, agriculture and fishing, with many of its people living in poverty. Saint Louis is extremely exposed to flooding from the river, high tides and periodic heavy rainfall. Rapid urbanisation has forced many poor people to set up home on long dried-out riverbeds virtually uninhabitable due to the risk of floods and landslides. Poor infrastructure and inadequate drainage networks are also core problems. With the sea level rising and more intense rainfall events predicted, flooding is expected to occur more frequently, with each new flood a further nail in the coffin of an ailing city and a further blight on the lives of already impoverished families and communities.
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