THE WATERS OF CHENINI
The oasis of Chenini, near Gabès (Tunisia) is the only marine oasis of the Mediterranean. In 2008 the Tunisian Ministry of Environment proposed to include it in the Unesco World Heritage Sites list.
The oasis, a little earthly paradise, is in danger. The palm trees disappear, the water sources which once made it prosperous dry out, and are substituted by water pumps which distribute water at high prices. The waterbed gets lower day by day. The peasants are asking for help to save the oasis. Biodiversity is at risk, due to cement factories and phosphate industries which were created in the last decades in the area, causing pollution and the spreading of various diseases. Young people leave Chenini to study far away, looking for fortune. Kamel stayed behind, and continues to cultivate using natural methods. Together with other older peasants he created an association to distribute the oasis products in the markets and to save a natural heritage and a wealth of knowledge which risk to disappear.