Jason Florio and his wife, Helen Jones-Florio, had already traveled the Republic of Gambia extensively when they decided to walk around the entirety of it in 2009. The 600-mile walk stands as the first recorded circumnavigation of the West African country by foot.
As such, they know Gambia better than most, so when they heard of plans to dam the Gambia River on the Senegal-Guinea border, they set out to document a way of life in danger of disappearing forever.
“We decided that we wanted to attempt to follow the river from its source in the remote highlands of Guinea, through Senegal and the Republic of the Gambia to the Atlantic—approximately 700 miles before the natural flow of the river was irrevocably choked,” Florio wrote.
The images -- powerful portraits of people whose lives depend on the river -- bring the conflict between development and culture into stark relief.
View the rest of the series on Florio's website.