During the week of the francophony, a debate on sustainable development was organised in Lycée Albert Camus, on March 19, and we were able to meet Mr. François Fougère.
Mr. Fougère works in Boffa, for decentralized cooperation with Charente Maritime, and he told us about solar salt. This salt is obtained through the evaporation of brine exposed all day to the sun on a black tarpaulin. This method is more ecological and economical than the traditional method, which consists in evaporating brine in pots heated by a fire: which implies a lot of wood, taken from nearby mangroves, which causes the destruction of the mangrove and more air pollution. We asked him a few questions.
Dans le cadre de la semaine de la francophonie, et du débat sur le développement durable organisé le 19 mars au lycée Albert Camus, nous avons pu rencontrer M. François Fougère.
M. Fougère travaille à Boffa dans le cadre de la coopération Charente maritime, et nous a parlé du sel solaire. Un sel qu’on obtient par évaporation de saumure (eau de mer enrichie en sel) exposée au soleil sur des bâches noires. Cette méthode est plus écologique et économique que la méthode traditionnelle qui consiste à évaporer de l’eau de mer dans des marmites sur un feu de bois : ce qui implique la coupe de beaucoup de bois et donc la déforestation, la destruction de la mangrove et la pollution de l’air. Nous lui avons posé quelques questions.
-Is it true that solar salt has less iodine than normal salt? It is true that iodine is volatile so when the salt is exposed to the sun lots of the iodine is lost. Because of this, we are forced to artificially add iodine to the salt to respect the norms. But there is naturally more iodine in solar salt than in traditional salt.
-Are there special measures taken to insure that the solar salt surpasses the Senegalese salt on the Guinean market? We try, but we can’t really do much. Therefore we work with customs, the minister of health, and the minister of trade to make them increase the taxes on Senegalese salt because this salt does not always have iodine in it, even though in Guinea there are regulations on how much iodine there needs to be in salt to make sure that the Guinean population doesn’t end up with goiters.
-For how long have you been in Guinea? Has living here taught you anything? I have been in Guinea since 2011. I have learned tons of stuff since then. Some positive stuff, and some negative. For example, we live in Boffa. So, on the edge of the sea where you can see all the vast natural riches of this country. When you see all the fish, the palm trees, the forests. But you can also see all the difficulties….all the wood that is burned for charcoal, it is shocking. You see people drinking unfiltered water. They complain that there is no more of that but that’s because they ate cutting all the mangrove.
-Do you think that one day you will make enough solar salt to satisfy the needs of the Guineans? This all depends on the Guineans. We can’t produce if we know that our product won’t have a good chance of being bought. If the Guineans bought more of our salt it would encourage the production of more solar salt.
Abdoulaye Bah et Jennifer Temminck