Senegal has been long regarded as one of the more successful countries in Africa. However, changes to state institutions have greatly affected the many people’s lives. Anyone, from refugees to children are in trouble, whilst the water supplies are dwindling. Senegal needs our help now more than ever before.
The Senegal Refugee Crisis
Currently, young people in Senegal are going from months to years without stable employment, driving them to flee from their home country. With two-thirds of the Senegalese population being under 18, the population is growing and there are currently more people than job opportunities available. This is pushing young people to flee to Europe in search of a better life.
However, this journey is far from safe, as refugees are forced to travel across the Mediterranean in crowded boats. Among the refugees who made the perilous journey to the Italian coast between January and March, 1200 were Senegalese.
Not only do these refugees encounter the risk of dying at sea, but Europe also ensures that it is almost impossible to gain access to their countries. They constantly close or obstruct their borders and make it difficult to obtain visas. Boat disasters are not rare, with at least 140 people drowning last year when a boat carrying 200 refugees headed to Europe.
Furthermore, the difficulty in obtaining and renewing visas results in masses of Senegalese people being deported from Europe back to Senegal, where they are afforded no help and end up in the same desperate situation they started in.
Save the Children of Senegal
Due to the high volume of children that make up the Senegalese population, education is vital. Despite this, informal education is prevalent throughout Senegal, and there is a very low literacy rate. The number of girls in education outnumbers the number of boys up until secondary school, wherein the trend is reversed. This is because girls are often not allowed to continue with their schooling so that they can become homemakers.
Furthermore, living conditions in households are not up to scratch, leaving children in unsafe housing. They often lack access to water, sanitation, and a constant supply of electricity. Due to this lack of funding, the healthcare system is also forced to take a hit, with the leading causes of mortality being infectious and parasitic diseases. Similarly, Senegalese children often face micronutrient deficiencies as well as anaemia.
Only 61.8% of households with children in Senegal are supplied with tap water, with the other water source being unsafe well water. Sadly, a frightening 35.3% of the households that don’t have clean water are located in rural areas, where young children drink unhygienic well water.
The Senegal Water Crisis
Senegal has a population of 16.7 million, but 2.5 million people do not have access to clean water close to home. Additionally, 7.2 million people do not have access to a decent toilet, and 1,800 children under five die each year from poor sanitation.
The Covid-19 pandemic made the existing water shortage even more damaging as many Senegalese people do not have access to water to wash their hands. This left Senegalese citizens unable to protect themselves from coronavirus contributing further to the mortality rate.
How Can You Help?
Orphans in Need strives to help the people of Senegal, and you can help us to continue our amazing work. Donate today and make a difference.