Most Common Business Activities : Seafood, dolls, paintings, sculptures, traditional clothes, tourist activities
School Access : There is only a Nursery and Primary School in this region. Secondary school is about 25km away. In spite of this distance coupled with difficult transportation since Carabane is an island, a very large portion of the population travels to Secondary School. As a result, the literacy rate is about 90%.
Health Care Accessibility : Health care accessibility is a challenge in Carabane. For health care issues requiring the attention of a doctor or hospital, people must first take a boat to the mainland, and then travel an additional 20km. There are maternity services, a nurse and a small health clinic present in Carabane.
Regional Challenges: Carabane struggles with issues relating to salinization and erosion. The is a fresh water scarcity as well.
Recent Community Initiatives: Although education is difficult (due to proximity) and expensive, the village has made it a priority. There have been initiatives to plant mangroves and do dyke construction to fight against erosion. The community has built a mosque, a youth centre and a maternity center.
Name of Ecovillage Association: Ujokoral Ecovillage President: Boubacar SARR Tel.: 77 523 48 51
Bound to the region of Ziguinchor, department of Oussouye,
district of Kabrousse, rural community of Diembering, the village of Carabane
is located on the main island of the estuary of the Senegal river, where
all the regional flows of travellers and goods which choose the maritime
way are converging. This is where the « Joola » stops over
during its weekly connections between Dakar and Ziguinchor.
Its sociocultural references subscribe in the Diola’s culture «
kassa », known by its attachment to the land and the importance
of work to assure its autonomy. The main people who are the Diola lead
essentially activities related to the culture of rice, fishing, tourism,
arts and crafts and trade in relation to the passage of the boat.
Strong of a historical, commercial and administrative background, which
gave to this island the status of the first capital of Casamance (with
3000 inhabitants in 1900) Since the sixties Carabane lived a decaying
situation and the almost disparition of its activities ( transferred to
Ziguinchor). However, one must notice that Carabane becomes significantly
populated (about 650 inhabitants in 2000).
Carabane, as most of the islands of the estuary, totally depends on superficial
water tables, the only sources of water supply for the populations. Except
that they are undergoing the salinisation phenomena, which carry out a
global degradation of environmental conditions and at the same time affect
all its activities.
However, the island of Carabane, with
a superficy of 57km², is characterised by a space potential as well
as a potential in natural resources, whom if they were apprehended within
the context of a sustainable management, would care of the populations
which are confronted with a subsistence matter.
The island of Carabane is situated at the mouth of the Casamance river.
It is completely determined by the estuarian status of the amphibious
zone. The natural environment is delicate and submissive to a regressive
dynamic influenced by the climate and the marine invasion. The degradation
of the natural environment is exaggerated by a socioeconomic situation
that is characterised by an economy of subsistence which is weakened by
the destruction of the system of traditional productions.
The island is characterized by very hard communication conditions because
it is completely enclosed :
- It is essentially sandy, and walking is very difficult.
- Covered with bolongs (maritime channels that penetrate in the soils
to constitute small islands) certain places are only accessible by sea
That is to say the access of the other water points of the island is also
problematic. Moreover, the liaisons between the island and the continent
become extremely difficult.
In fact, to go to the continent, the inhabitants of Carabane have only
the maritime way.
Either they take a canoe to go to Ziguinchor or Elinkine (the nearest
point of the continent) or the boat that assures Dakar ziguinchor with
a stop at Carabane. By the earth’s way you need to pass by Ziguinchor,
Oussouri, Elliptique and take a canoe to join Caravane. This encloseness
shows the effects on the administrative management of the island.
The island of Carabane because of its
historical background (first capital of the region) is composed of a population
of different ethnic origins (Diola, Sérères, Ouolof, Mandjack
). But this original diversity, after many generations, is the fruit of
a united population thanks to the marital relations between the village
Because of the role they played during the colonial period, Carabane still
keeps the marks of its history. In fact, sites are always existing even
though they are seriously debased, either by the coastal and marine erosion,
or by the men action (the collapse of certain buildings which were the
commercial houses : a pro-slavery fort and other trading post, a social
and physical therapy center). Carabane has played a very important role
in the transfer of the slaves to Gorée. But located in a saline
and humid zone, its infrastructures are rapidly and badly getting old,
for lack of community revenues to maintain them. The historical inheritance
of the island is composed of colonial church, an special school, old buildings,
ruined trade post which represented grouping centers for the slaves, and
a decaying cemetery. The real devastation of the island can be undoubtedly
explained by discouragement and mistakes, but not by passiveness. In fact,
these late years, Carabane has tried to develop with new activities such
as oysterfarming, youth association camp and village camp. But all of
them have been aborted or taken out by a private interest when they were
initially apprehended in a community perspective.
Although the cultural richness of the
island (the presence of the sacred, fetiches, sites or historical buildings,
etc.), the traditional culture had not been valorised in that locality.
This is due to a strong evangelization of the populations of the island
and then to the reconversion of many of them to Islam. However, a minority
still remains animist and practices from time to time ritual traditional
ceremonies in the existing sites of the village. Women especially maintain
their sacred wood and organize ceremonies when they feel the need to do
it. As far as fetiches are concerned, as we said earlier, the diversity
of the ethnic origins of the population of Carabane is the fact that the
ritual ceremonies are practiced in the island by the inhabitants of the
surrounding villages that had created these sites. In this way, to fold
this loss of cultural values, Carabane appeals the surrounding village
to organize ceremonies and thus to correct certain losses of ancestral
The lack of a museum in the area is that historical relics
are not well conserved or rather they are not itemized because of the
bad preservation of the works. (for example, the statutes and other object
of the church have been trnasfered by the clergy to non wished destinations
by the population of Carabane .
To deal with these problems, the ecovillage proposes :
-the creation of a museum in Carabane ;
-the rehabilitation of historical sites (the slaves house, the special
-the development of the theater and the training of folk troups
The organisation of cultural days in all the villages of the rural community
(development of technics and traditional knowledges, of the african pharmacopée
and intercultural openness to the foreign world) The cultural days take
place each year from 09 / 15th to 10 / 15th with exchanges between villages.
This happen to be struggle combat, traditional dance « ekonkone
», and theater.
Despite of the lack of means, the
motivation of Carabane to resolve its problems is not new, and is really
concerned about the social sector. In fact by mobilizing the abroad help
Carabane could have been well equipped :
-With Caritas in 1988 ; building of a community house that shelters now
the nursery school
-With the Friends of Carabane ( people from Casamance living in France),
creation of a maternity hospital in 1991
- With Bon-Encontre (Lot et Garonne) its sister twining partner since
97/98 : repair of the roof of the former school, the construction of the
new school of 4 classes, equipment of a motorised canoe, digging out of
a well equipped with a pomp (but it does not work because of the rising
-With the Cabinet d’appui au développement DEFI-sud : management
and coordination of the constrution of the new school.
-With the foundation la LAGUNE in 2000 ; repair of walls of the former
school, for a partial use for training and the funding for the study on
the quality of soils and water.
- The young people of Carabane are building a social and cultural centre.