Mbacké Seck

Hann Baykeeper
Dakar, Senegal

Mbacké Seck is a Waterkeeper Warrior.

Imagine a pristine crescent-shaped beach on a sparkling bay. A place so rich in marine life, that it was revered by the fishermen who relied on it for their livelihoods. A magical playground for the village children to explore.

In the 1960s, this place was Hann Bay.

But decades of industrial pollution… Slaughterhouse dumping…and other acts of environmental injustice have sickened its residents, impoverished its fishing communities…and fouled its beaches.

Some saw it as a lost cause, but Mbacke Seck recalled the idyllic bayside community of his youth…and resolved to revive it.

As Africa’s first Waterkeeper, Mbacke has been the bay’s most ferocious defender, leading the fight against pollution.

His leadership has produced remarkable results, including a 68 million dollar clean up commitment from the State of Senegal, the French Development Agency, and the European Investment Bank.

Today, Hann Bay has been transformed. And the people of its villages can once again fish…swim…and enjoy this magnificent waterway.

That’s because one man stood up for his community’s right to clean water, and never backed down.

Listen to Mbacké’s story:

Photographed by © Jane Hahn, courtesy of Culture Trip, with story voiced by Woody Harrelson

Waterkeeper Magazine

Learn more about Mbacké in the two-part 20th Anniversary edition of Waterkeeper Magazine.

Return to the full Waterkeeper Warriors gallery.