September 27, 2023 2:09 am
From restaurants to water towers, unrest dents Senegal’s economy

DAKAR, June 9 (Reuters) – A KFC restaurant ransacked. Public transport torched. Glass-paneled stations for a multi-million dollar electric bus hyperlink shattered. A water plant vandalised.

Senegal is taking stock of the harm just after the jail sentencing of prominent opposition figure Ousmane Sonko sparked the worst civil unrest in decades that threatens to dent progress in 1 of Africa’s quickest-expanding economies.

Sixteen persons died and hundreds had been injured. Rioters attacked banks, supermarkets and petrol stations. Modest enterprises had been also hit.

“There was a clear intention to impact the typical functioning of our financial activity. Targets had been not selected fortuitously,” Interior Minister Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome stated more than the weekend.

Stations for an electric bus network had been torn down, derailing a significant project aimed at minimizing the capital’s notorious congestion and pollution.

An attack on a state-owned water plant could make shortages in Dakar, exactly where it hasn’t rained for eight months and exactly where water cuts are prevalent, Diome stated.

In the city of Mbour, a new KFC franchise has shut and laid off 30 workers just after it was ransacked on Thursday, stated a spokesperson for Sedima Group, the neighborhood poultry organization operating the franchise.

The restaurant lost thousands of dollars in stock and machinery just after protesters smashed their way inside.


Aside from the harm, a day of protests can slow financial output by the equivalent of up to about $33 million per day, the government estimates.

Citizens quickly really feel the pinch in a nation exactly where more than 95% of the operate is informal, according to the International Labour Organization.

Bus organization Dem Dikk, which is element state owned and whose beige buses are recurring targets for the duration of protests, partially resumed solutions this week.

But at their station in Dakar, only a handful of passengers boarded buses ordinarily filled with persons heading to other regions.

Attacks on its buses have expense the organization more than $7 million given that March 2021, CEO Ousmane Sylla told Reuters. A lot more than 70 had been torched and about 20 smashed with rocks final week alone.

Stalled operations can expense Dem Dikk up to $80,000 in losses per day and make it difficult for thousands of commuters to get to operate.

A government ban on motorcycles, a well known mode of transport, added to the challenge.

“Disruptions in this sector are extremely tough for Senegal’s economy,” stated Sylla.

Opposition groups have referred to as for far more protests in Dakar on Friday and Saturday.

University student Mbodj, 26, was waiting for a bus to the northern city of Saint Louis. He stated he planned to keep with his parents till normalcy resumes.

“It is generating unemployment,” he stated, adding that it was currently tough for graduates to locate jobs prior to the unrest.

Further reporting by Ngouda Dione Writing by Sofia Christensen Editing By Edward McAllister and Sharon Singleton

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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