Friday, 10 September 2010
Cleaning and Greening
On Saturday last I went to an event in the grounds of the local museum, on the banks of the river Dafra where the sacred catfish, the totem and official emblem of Bobo, dwell. Lots of people come to see the catfish and some feed them. Maybe as a result of this, the river fills up with abandoned black plastic bags and other debris. The fish here are up to perhaps a couple of feet long; there are larger ones, also sacred, recipients of many sacrifices, a little way out of Bobo – but I haven’t seen those yet.
The banks of the river are also eroding, as a result I think of both the weather and the visitors. The local story-tellers, ‘Les Conteurs du Terroir’ got fed up with the state that this tourist attraction was in, and raised some sponsorship to do something about it.
So there was a grand gathering on Saturday. First an excellent female story-teller told us a tale about a chameleon, then there were the obligatory speeches, then the assembled company collected spades, gloves and wheelbarrows and set forth to clean the river, install waste bins for future debris, and plant trees. There was lots of good humour, and as ever some music to help things along. Much waste was collected and carried off, many trees planted along the banks of the river, baguettes were distributed and then there was some more story telling and visiting of the museum, which has in its grounds examples of local houses. The weather stayed fine, and the event attracted good media coverage, including national tv – on which I am told I was visible, though I didn’t see it myself!
For more pics of this event, follow this link: