The living conditions of the population of Baraka

The population of Baraka is mainly composed of families with an average of five people per family. This highlights the precarious conditions in which they live. For lack of space and housing in Baraka, much lives in extreme conditions in abandoned private property. We went to meet them.

Despite the 9200 m2 of land that Baraka occupies, not all of the inhabitants of Baraka can be accommodated. Some families who do not benefit from this space to live, moved into a house with an area of 450 m2 next to Baraka which had been abandoned for ten long years, and it neither has water nor electricity.

Alassane BA

Alassane BA, forty years old, polygamist and father of six lives in this house with his family. He left BARGNY, the suburbs of Dakar, to come and live in Baraka. He told us that the inhabitants of this house are actually tenants who make a monthly payment of 22,000 CFA francs for each room rented. He earns his living through his work as a painter. His two wives live together with her children in two rooms.

Twenty families live in this space in very difficult conditions. To fulfill the rental fee, some are forced to limit the number of meals and expenses. They spend their days in front of their house, because the space is too narrow and does not allow them to stay. Overcrowding leads there an unhealthy and unsustainable lack of hygiene.

Most of the children living in this abandoned house do not attend school because according to Mr. BA, parents are more concerned with survival than the schooling of their children, which they say will result only in an increase of their charges. Subsequently, these children spend their days wandering the streets and begging in neighboring districts.

Cohabitation is sometimes difficult with the inhabitants of the neighboring cities because of the occupation of public roads. The population of Baraka lives in the same conditions as those families. At Baraka, the majority of parents share their rooms with their children, sometimes even with their small children up to the age of 15-17 years due to lack of space.

Since hope springs eternal, these families, whom we went to meet, hope for a better tomorrow with the « new city Baraka », because they live in anxiety and fear of being evicted overnight by the owner of the abandoned house.

Here are some examples of pictures that show the unbelievable conditions the people deal with every day.

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