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The old quarry of Bakoteh

Cristian Sarmiento | Gambia

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Popularly known as The quarry, the Bakoteh dump site is all that remains of an old strip mining. The craters the old stone excavations left behind now harbour the garbage of half a million people in Kanifing, the most densely populated region of The Gambia. This is an open pit mine where waste is disposed of indiscriminately and uncontrolled, which is causing a serious environmental impact and a constant threat to the population health.

As a result of the rural exodus and the rapid population growth in the metropolis the dump site is now cornered by the urban nucleus. It has become a desolated and unhealthy place in the city area.

For many of the inhabitants of Kanifing The quarry has been too long its worst nightmare and its protests persist crying out the definitive cease of the dump site. However for many others, this inhospitable place has become the last recourse to survive; hundreds of people wander daily in the trash in search of anything they can seize or sell in thrift stores in exchange for some coins.

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