'Bakoteh' The Gambia's sprawling waste dump was once situated on the edge of a peri-urban area. With the rapid growth of the Gambian population, the surrounding area is now densely populated. Waste management in The Gambia has not been able to keep pace with the waste produced, and Bakoteh has become a significant hazard to the area, with toxic fires and contamination leaching into the water systems. But for some, Bakoteh has become a source of income, many of the pickers said they had given up 'clean jobs' to rubbish pick full-time for salable recycling materials, and were making more income than doing manual work for an employer. The pickers said they were not just helping to support their families, but also reducing the amount of rubbish that goes into the landfill.
Photographed on assignment FD Persoonlijk - Netherlands
and UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services)