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Atlantic Rising on BBC World Service

Posted By Will on April 21 2010


The Guardian of the island:  James Island is a former slave fort in the River Gambia. It is also Mustapha's Gabang’s island.  His father was the first caretaker there and when he died Mustapha stepped into his shoes. Looking after the island and the visiting tourists is the only job he has ever known.  But now his island is threatened. Erosion is gnawing at the main castle's walls.  Moustapha has single handedly built a sea wall to protect this UNESCO site, but time is running out.  The irony of global warming destroying the very buildings used to enslave his ancestors is not lost on him.  But he wants to preserve the memory of these atrocities so that future generations can prevent it ever happening again.

Duration: 8 minutes

Broadcast on 16th December 2009.  Listen to it here


The Sewer Man:  Maseka Samba’s job is one of the toughest in Gambia's capital, Banjul.   He is the cleansing officer in the city council's sewer department.  And once a month he has to organise National Clean Up day, when residents take to the street to clean up their rubbish.  His task is nearly impossible.  Most of Banjul lies below sea level and the British-built pump that keeps the ocean out of the city, has been broken since 1974.  Every day the incoming tide washes sewage back into the city.  With rising sea levels making his life even harder, Maseka is resigned to a life of service.  If only he could get residents to stop throwing litter in his drains.

Duration: 7 mins

Broadcast on 19th April 2010.  Listen to it here


The War-torn Conservationist:  Tommy Garnett grew up in rural Sierra Leone where diamond mining companies ravaged his local forest.  He made a promise to one day return the forest to its natural state. But one year after he started working, civil war broke out.  Like thousands of others he moved to Liberia and worked in the refugee camps.  Now he is back in Sierra Leone teaching sustainable forest management.  But he is no happy tree hugger, "people don't care a damn about climate change if it stops them putting food on the table. We have to find a way of improving people's lives." Deforestation is Sierra Leone's biggest problem. Tommy might be the man to offer a solution.

Duration: 8 minutes

Broadcast on 26th April 2010. Listen to it here


The Saviour of Keta:  Over the last 100 years the ocean has ripped 1km of coastline form the village of Keta in Western Ghana.  The town is now one fifth of its original size.  Facing a bleak future, residents turned to local lad and civil engineer, Rex Edeka.  Rex worked with the Ghanaian government to secure an $84 million loan from America to start the Keta Sea Defence project.  For four years the town was turned upside down as American machinery and engineers moved in, extracting millions of tonnes of rock and sand.  The project was a huge success, Rex was heralded as a hero.  But why is he still frustrated and ashamed of his work?

Duration: 8 minutes

Broadcast on 3rd April 2010. Listen to it here

      Charles Brewer Carias: Charles is Venezuela's most famous explorer, having led over 250 expeditons into the heart of Guyanan rainforest.  In this programme he looks back at his life in exploration and looks at how the world is changing around him.  What advice can he give to the explorers of the future about the new places to find undiscovered land?

Duration: 9 minutes

Broadcast in September 2010.  Listen to it here

The drowning Orinoco: The lower Orinoco delta is in trouble.  Over the last two decades salt water intrusion has caused increasing problems for the Warao indians living at the water's edge.  Maria and Christophe have lived in the delta for the last six years, running an eco lodge for tourists.  They have daily interactions with the Warao and have been carefully documenting the changes in their health and welfare.  This programme explores their lives and their concerns for how these changeswill impact this fragile ecosystem.

Duration: 8 minutes

Broadcast in September 2010. Listen to it here


 The House Mover: Gabriel Matyiko has been moving houses since he was a child.  He is sthird generation house mover and has been in volved in some of the biggest building moves in American history.  As climate change and coastal erosion start to wear away the eastern seaboard Gabe and his family are busier than ever.  This programme gives an insight into those people who are reaping the benefits of climate change.  When our desire to have a waterfront residence overwhelms a more sensible location for housing.

Duration: 9 mins

Bradcast in December 2009.  Listen to it here

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jo Coombs and everybody at Loftus Audio, who helped edit the final pieces and managed to persuade the BBC to get involved.



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