On Sunday the 11th of February 2018 a massive fire broke out at the Mbeubeuss waste dump in Dakar, Senegal.
According to recent estimates, there are 2,500 waste pickers who earn their living recuperating recyclable materials from the dump. Some of these waste pickers lost years of storage, raw material, and shelter in the fire.
In addition to the individual waste pickers who work on the dump, a plastic recycling company had been established there by Mr. Abdoul Aziz. Mr. Aziz is a founding member of the Mbeubeuss waste picker’s association Bokk Diom, and a former waste picker himself, who has worked at the dump since the 1970’s. His business involved the collection, cleaning and selling of plastic materials recovered from the dump. The business employed 75 men and women waste pickers and was completely destroyed in the fire.
This is not the first time Mbeubeuss has caught fire. A previous fire in 2016, in a different area of the dump, also destroyed waste pickers’ stock, and devastatingly also resulted in a loss of life.
The waste pickers of Mbeubeuss want safer, more dignified working conditions and recognition as legitimate workers who are providing an environmental service. In the wake of this most recent fire, plans are taking shape among members of Bokk Diom to mobilize around a platform of demands for on-site improvements at Mbeubeuss.
A GoFund me campaign has been established to support Mr. Aziz and the waste pickers at
Mbeubeuss. Show your support here.
In this video Mr. Aziz explains what happened and asks for support:
Photos before and after the fire
A gallery of images showing the devastating results of the fire:
Photos and videos by Jenna Harvey and Grabriella Tanvé.