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  • 300,000 tonnes of rock
  • 4.5 kilometres of coastal protection
  • 40% of our project staff are Senegalese nationals
  • The World Bank is funding this project

The Senegalese coastal town of Saly used to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Africa. Like many other places along the African west coast, Saly’s coastline has been weakened by erosion.


Fragile local economy

Saly is the beating heart of Senegalese tourism on the Petite Côte. Tourism is the main source of income for its 20,000 inhabitants. The beaches of Saly were eroding, leading to a decline in tourism and the corresponding revenue due to disappearing beaches and hotels closing down. Human interventions also weakened the coastline, like the construction of a small craft harbour and groynes upstream of the Saly beaches, disturbing the longshore sand transport and deposit downstream along the Saly coastal area.


Protecting the land

Flood damage would have major consequences for the fragile local economy. That’s why Van Oord built groynes and detached breakwaters over a distance of 4.5 kilometres. These structures will stop the current and waves from battering the coastline and will protect the land against rising sea levels. ‘We contracted a quarry nearby to deliver more than 300,000 tonnes of rock for these constructions. The local economy benefited by this way of working,’ explains Regional Manager Maarten Meeder. ‘In addition, we’re deploying regional subcontractors.’


What makes this project unique is the collaboration with the community and the extent to which the local economy is able to benefit from this project

Maarten Meeder, Van Oord’s Regional Manager
Maarten Meeder, Van Oord’s Regional Manager

New beaches, new opportunities

In 2020, Saly’s beaches will also be restored. Trailing suction hopper dredger Dravo Costa Dorada will deposit some 550,000 cubic metres of sand. The expectation is that the larger beaches will have a positive effect on the number of tourists visiting.


A sustainable living environment

Because the project team is eager to contribute to a sustainable living environment for Saly’s inhabitants, Trainee Jenske Kroes embarked on a public information project about plastic litter. ‘We started by placing rubbish bins at a large state school,’ explains Jenske. ‘Then a Senegalese colleague and I talked to 800 schoolchildren about the risks that plastic litter poses to health and the environment. Afterwards, we rolled up our sleeves and collected plastic litter in the bins for recycling.’