10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Togo
Although global aid has decreased, Togo has managed to increase its health expenditure as a share of GDP to 6.6 percent in 2016, a jump of about 8 percent from the previous year where this amount was actually negative. Due to the scarcity of hospitals and health centers, Togo’s 2018 population of approximately 8.2 million faces numerous obstacles from birth onwards in the battle to survive. Of every 1,000 Togolese infants, 49 will die before they are 1 year old and approximately 69.8 before they reach the age of 5. In addition to infant deaths, the maternal mortality ratio is 396 per 100,000 live births as of 2017. Overall life expectancy in Togo is 69 for females and 63 for males, the 178th worst globally. These 10 facts about life expectancy in Togo demonstrate the changes over time. 

10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Togo

  1. Crime: In Togo, the homicide rate was nine cases per 100,000 people in 2015. Compared to the United States, it has 4.1 more cases per 100,000 people. Violent crimes, theft and pick-pocketing are common in marketplaces or along the beach of Lome. There is an abundance of scam artists that fake online friendships to steal or stage accidents to jack cars and there has even been a threat of kidnapping recently. The ECOWAS Regional Action Plan renewed for 2016-2020 to address crime and drug trafficking in West Africa.

  2. Sanitation: Most drinking water sources in the urban parts of Togo have improved with only 8.6 percent of urban populations not having access to reliably safe drinking water. In rural areas, however, 55.8 percent of the water sources have remained unimproved. Sanitation facility access has not improved much, either, with 75.3 percent of urban Togo and 97.1 percent of rural Togo having unimproved sanitation facilities. Public toilets are often unavailable as well, and when they are available, they generally range from sit-down and squat toilets to holes in the ground.

  3. Disease: As of 2017, Togo’s most prevalent diseases are malaria, neonatal disorders, HIV/AIDS, lower respiratory infection, ischemic heart disease, diarrheal diseases and tuberculosis. HIV/AIDS afflicted approximately 110,000 Togolese or 2.3 percent as of 2017, ranking the country 22nd worst globally. An estimated 4,700 deaths were from HIV/AIDS in 2017, the 43rd worst ranking in the world. It is also common for infants to suffer from diarrhea, one of the main contributors to the infant mortality rate in Togo.

  4. Malnutrition: Malnutrition rates exceed 10 percent in three out of five regions in Togo, with 16 percent of children under 5 underweight. Many parents have been relying on feeding their children a simple paste that is filled with vitamins and minerals, called Plumpy’Nut, and has improved the situation of many Togolese children. An agricultural improvement is the development of a drought-resistant, high-yield rice, Nerica, specifically for Africa. For Western Africa, rice is a staple, but to meet nutritional demand, the region needs to import 3.5 million tons of rice per year, which costs nearly $1 billion.

  5. Overcrowding: The best example of Togo’s overcrowding problem is its 12 prisons. Though there is a set capacity for these prisons, they end up holding more than twice their capacity. As a result of these cramped conditions, hygiene, food and medical care are poor, and disease and death run rampant. Prisoners reportedly sleep like “sardines in a tin,” and even sleep in shifts, with some waiting for their turn against a wall.

  6. Immunization: Immunization coverage among Togolese children is severely incomplete. A study found that 36.2 percent of children did not receive all vaccines that the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) recommends. Togo has a multi-year plan (2016-2020), a national system to monitor adverse events following immunization, and a standing technical advisory group on immunization.

  7. Maternal/Neonatal/Child Health: Only 61.4 percent of Togolese births have skilled health personnel in attendance, and as a result, the maternal mortality rate in Togo is 396 deaths/100,000 live births as of 2017. Mothers already have to travel long distances to reach health facilities, and when said places do not have the necessary expertise or medication, they become discouraged from attending any appointments before birth. When these women do not attend regular checkups, health professionals cannot detect problems early on or provide mothers with rudimentary health care.

  8. Health Systems: Togo only has 746 health centers, which is approximately 11 health centers per 100,000 people, and only six regional hospitals, which is 0.09 per 100,000 people. There are only 0.05 physicians per 1,000 people as of 2015. This scarcity of health facilities results in overcrowding of existing ones and it stretches health professionals thin. With so few people operating each facility, Togo cannot meet average health standards and thus cannot help people efficiently. Life expectancy could improve in this respect by creating more health centers.

  9. Substance Abuse: Togo is a transit point of Nigerian heroin and cocaine traffickers. There were 2,000 drug users in 2001 (12 deaths), 3,000 in 2006 (68 deaths) and 3,575 in 2007 (100 deaths). Togolese drug use has only increased over time, stretching to 5.5 percent of students. The students consider drugs to be fortifying and have developed a dependency on drugs just for studying.

  10. Road Safety: People do not stress road safety in Togo. Many Togolese drivers do not obey traffic laws mostly due to traffic signals not functioning properly, and a lack of reinforcement. Sometimes they run red lights and stop signs or drive in the wrong direction on one-way streets. Not only do these driving standards threaten pedestrians and drivers alike, but they also set the stage for fake accidents.

These 10 facts about life expectancy in Togo show that even the smallest of changes could evolve into much more for the Togolese. The ECOWAS is working diligently to improve the lives of those in West Africa by limiting crime and drug trafficking and abuse. Togolese life expectancy has even increased because of other countries’ efforts.

– Nyssa Jordan
Photo: Flickr

healthcare systems in Togo

Togo, a country located in West Africa is occupied by eight million people and currently faces a healthcare crisis. Nations across the globe have been successful in transforming inadequate healthcare systems into those that successfully prevent and treat ailments. That said, according to a 2017 story by Development and Cooperation, Togo is often referred to as having the worst health systems in West Africa.

Many factors contribute to the sub-par healthcare systems in Togo, including insufficient staff, outdated medical instruments and practices, and ineffective financial and insurance resources. These components combine to create the current healthcare system in Togo.

Despite this complicated health matrix, efforts have been made by the government in tandem with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to reduce the burden of disease and to improve the healthcare systems in Togo.

Diagnosing the Problem

According to a story run by Deutsche Welle (DW), a German international broadcaster, Togo only sports three healthcare workers for every 10 thousand residents, which DW claims is approximately a quarter of the number of healthcare workers per 10 thousand residents for Ghana. Insufficient staff across the nation – not only in the larger centralized hospitals of Togo, contribute to the poor health systems present.

Inadequate staffing at clinics and hospitals alike can escalate quickly. Lack of properly trained and licensed doctors, nurses and medical personnel often leads to overcrowding in emergency and waiting rooms alike, which complicates matters further. Keeping patients awaiting treatment in confined places increases disease transmission between patients, especially those that can be transferred via skin contact and via the air. Furthermore, the same 2017 Development and Cooperation story recounted several instances where patients tragically passed away while awaiting treatment in some of Togo’s largest hospitals.

In addition to overwhelmed and insufficient staffing, the hospitals themselves are not properly stocked with the supplies necessary to diagnose and treat incoming patients. Outdated medical instruments and practices also have the potential to contribute to inadequate healthcare systems in Togo. Equipment may become faulty over time, or the technology used may simply just not be correct.

While outdated medical technologies are certainly lacking, hospitals also appear to lack basic amenities such as beds. In 2011, Togo only sported seven hospital beds per 10,000 population.

Insufficient staffing and medical supplies seemingly stem from one arena, however: lack of financial resources available. As of 2015, over 55 percent of Togo’s population lived under the global poverty line – approximately four million people. Because of this extreme poverty, patients cannot afford the necessary treatments which leads to a lack of funding for hospitals, resulting in smaller staff and inadequate supplies.

As of right now, healthcare systems in Togo seem to operate on a “pay or die” approach, according to the Development and Cooperation story. Patients and loved ones of those who have fallen ill often have to borrow money in an effort to receive treatment for diseases and ailments. Even then, sometimes it is not enough.

Current Remedies

Global efforts have been to improve the inadequate healthcare systems in Togo. Currently, Togo is in the midst of a five-year project aimed at ending neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This integrated NTD control currently receives funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) among others.

This funding goes directly to combatting and administering diagnoses and treatments for neglected tropical diseases present in Togo. Furthermore, a significant portion of the funds dedicated to reducing the burden of these NTDs in Togo is allocated toward the training of health workers, hopefully providing stability in the healthcare sector for years to come.

Aside from these efforts to combat NTDs, other global institutions have made efforts to improve Togo’s healthcare system in general.

The International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), an institution set on improving healthcare systems and structures using peer-to-peer models, has begun to lay the groundwork for strengthening the healthcare systems in Togo. Much of IANPHI’s work goes toward strengthening disease surveillance, as well as equipping Togo’s Ministry of Health with laboratory and research facilities, hopefully promoting new science and health-related job opportunities.

Moving Forward

The healthcare systems in Togo have a significant and difficult path in front of them. The issues of staffing, supplies and financial insecurities must be addressed in order to increase health promotion and disease prevention in the country. That said, significant progress has been made in laying the groundwork of the future of Togo’s healthcare systems, hopefully paving the way for significant reform and a brighter future.

– Colin Petersdorf
Photo: Flickr

Eight Facts About Education in Togo
The Togolese Republic (Togo) is a small West African country on the Gulf of New Guinea that borders Ghana and Benin. With a GDP of $4.75 billion and a GNI per capita of $610, Togo is one of the poorest countries in the world. Togo’s education system has faced development setbacks due to various political, monetary and societal reasons yet it remains one of the stronger education systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. These eight facts about education in Togo demonstrate the progress made in certain areas and the need for progress in others.

8 Facts About Education in Togo

  1. Primary Schooling is Compulsory and Free — Due to its history as the French colony of Togoland, education in Togo follows the French model of primary, secondary and higher schooling. Starting at age six, primary education is mandatory for six years. Prior to 2008, public school fees created barriers for impoverished families to send their children to school, but in 2008, UNICEF partnered with Togo’s government to abolish public primary school fees. Togo’s net primary school enrollment was 90 percent in 2017 which is high.
  2. Secondary Education Enrollment Rates are Low — In 2017, only 41 percent of the children eligible enrolled in secondary education. This is an improvement from 2000 when only 23.53 percent of children enrolled in secondary schooling; however, the large enrollment gap between primary and secondary education remains due to costly secondary education fees, poor quality of primary education and the lack of access to schooling in rural areas.
  3. Togo has had Recurring Teacher Strikes — Since 2013, teachers have gone on lengthy strikes numerous times because they were unsatisfied with their working conditions, large class sizes or pay. Teacher salaries in Togo range from $33 to $111 per month while the minimum wage is $64 per month. After months of strikes, the Togo government signed an agreement with trade unions in the spring of 2018, but the future will tell whether this will improve teaching conditions.
  4. Enrollment Rates Do Not Translate into Higher Student Success — Despite having more children enrolled in school, Togo has had increased amounts of students repeating school years and failing to graduate. Several students (37.6 percent) dropped out of primary school in 2012 and 32.42 percent of secondary school students dropped out in 2015.
  5. There is a Gender Disparity in Togo Schooling — In every level of schooling except pre-primary, there are 10 percent fewer girls enrolled than boys. The literacy rate for males in Togo is 77.26 percent and only 51.24 percent for women, which shows a large literacy gap between the sexes. Early or forced marriages force many girls to leave school. International NGO’s such as Girls Not Brides are working in Togo to meet its commitment to end child, early and forced marriages by 2030.
  6. Low Educational Equality for the Rural and Poor — Togo is made up of primarily rural areas and 69 percent of its rural households live under the poverty line as of 2015. Secondary schools tend to be sparse in rural areas with few resources while urban areas tend to have more clusters of secondary schools with more resources. Sixty-eight percent of eligible males and 54 percent of females in urban areas enroll in secondary education while only 45 percent of eligible males and 33 percent of females in rural areas attend secondary school.
  7. The Literacy Rate is Improving Among the Youth of Togo — Adult literacy is around 64 percent while the literacy of those aged 15-25 is 84 percent in Togo. This fact about education in Togo shows progress within creating basic and more widespread educational services such as free primary schooling.
  8. Togo’s Education Strategy for 2014-2025 has Four Important Objectives — The government objectives for improving education include developing quality universal primary education by 2022 and extending pre-primary coverage to rural and poorer areas. In addition, it plans to develop quality secondary, vocational and higher education and decrease the illiteracy rate.

These eight facts about education in Togo show that there is still much to improve in terms of greater educational equality, the availability of key educational resources, gender equality and creating a system of quality education levels. Progress, however, is still occurring as school enrollment and literacy rates increase substantially. The combined efforts of the Togo government and outside organizations are helping accomplish Togo’s education goals.

– Camryn Lemke
Photo: Flickr

 

The 3030 ProjectIn 2014, musician Ryan Lewis, a member of the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hip-hop duo, became the first to donate to the 30/30 Project, the project that he helped his mother, Julie, kickstart. As a thirty-year survivor of HIV, Julie Lewis designed the project with the goal of building thirty healthcare facilities worldwide. It is virtually impossible for people living in poverty to receive treatments, considering “Just one month’s supply of a typical antiretroviral drug costs more than the annual income of most Malawians.” But, these new facilities will give people access to treatments for life-threatening diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

The Lewis family saw the injustice and pledged to make a positive change. After all, their motto for the project states, “Healthcare is a human right.”

Lewis and his musical partner, Macklemore, started an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $100,000. This went towards the first phase of the project, which is building a non-profit health center in Neno District, Malawi. The campaign exceeded its goal, raising over $150,000. So, the excess will be used for the next phase, which is a non-profit clinic in Kangundo, Kenya.

Dambe Health Center

Just like they promised, the 30/30 Project completed construction of the Dambe Health Center in the Neno District of Malawi in August 2015.

Partners in Health opened the clinic in March 2016. “This health center serves a community of 30,000 people…by addressing the need for free, basic primary care and lowering the barrier of access.” Since its launch four-and-a-half years ago, sixteen health care centers have been built. Six are currently under construction and eight are in the fundraising stage.

No Mom Left Behind

In addition to their main goal, the 30/30 Project launched its “No Mom Left Behind” campaign. The funds raised, build and maintain maternity wards in impoverished regions. Since 2017, they were able to build a new maternity ward and renovate a clinic in Togo, West Africa. For the 2019 fundraising year, donations will be used to construct a maternity ward in Kenya. It will offer HIV counseling, testing and medication, immunizations and family planning. The need for these services is high, as one in forty-two women die during childbirth. Sixty percent of women deliver their child at home, far from the helping hands of medical professionals. Construction on a nursing school in Uganda is already underway, with the hopes of training students to properly handle patients and any problems that may arise during childbirth.

As a family who has experienced the heartache associated with a loved one’s positive HIV diagnosis, the Lewises know how important it is to receive proper treatment. This is especially true for expectant mothers, who have a twenty-five percent chance of transmitting the disease to their baby. However, treatments could reduce that likelihood to less than two percent.

Ryan Lewis has made a splash in the music scene. Over the last five years, he has also made major strides in the world of philanthropy. Due to his generosity and perseverance, thousands of people in Africa and India are receiving life-saving treatments that they were previously unable to afford. With continued support, the 30/30 Project will help provide healthcare to many other underserved communities.

– Sareen Mekhitarian
Photo: Flickr

5 Facts About Women’s Rights in Togo
Togo is a small country in West Africa. Like other developing countries, many people in Togo have made the realization that gender equality and women’s rights would lead to a thriving, more prosperous community. Although recognizing the issue is a crucial and necessary step, actions are needed to see real change. This article examines 5 facts about women’s rights in Togo.

5 Facts About Women’s Rights in Togo

  1. In 2007, Togo adopted a law that prohibits sexual assault, early and forced marriage, exploitation, female genital mutilation and sexual harassment. Yet, women are still lacking in information and education when it comes to their rights, which means marital rape and domestic violence are still common in Togo regardless of the law.
  2. There is a 10-day national conference held every year in Togo called the Women’s Wellness and Empowerment Conference (WWEC). The conference brings women leaders from across Togo together. The Peace Corps’ goal for the WWEC is to empower women, advocate gender equality and education and encourage the community to engage with one another.
  3. For women, there is a substantial drop in literacy rates from primary education (72 percent) to secondary education (14 percent). One of the reasons for this extremely high drop-out rate is because of early pregnancies. The high number of early pregnancies is because sex education, contraceptives and family-planning are all non-existent in Togo, making it extremely difficult for women to take charge of their bodies and futures.
  4. According to the World Bank’s country report, women lack economic opportunities and are rarely represented in high-level positions. This hurts society as a whole. The International Labour Organization stated that more female participation in the workforce would result in faster economic growth. Although there is a law in Togo that constitutes equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, women’s rights activist Berthe Adjoavi Tatey stated that this law is not acted upon. She claimed that women continue to have inadequate access to financial services. Sophie Ekue, a journalist in Togo said, “women are the belt that holds men’s trousers. And it is high time that this changes–for the benefit of the whole society.”
  5. Women are becoming more involved politically. As of 2010, nine members of the National Assembly and seven ministers in the Cabinet were women. In 2012, Togolese women organized a week-long “sex-strike.” The goal of the strike was to pressure President Faure Gnassingbe to resign. Women who wanted to take part in the strike were asked to withhold sex from their husbands. The goal was to convince men to also take action against the president. Togolese women have also led two naked protests. The first was following the sex-strike in August 2012, and the second was in September 2017. The goal of the protests was the same as the sex-strike: mobilize men against the president.

With the uprise of gender equality laws, female-led protests and national women’s conferences, Togo is looking toward a better future as far as gender equality and women’s rights are concerned. These 5 facts about women’s rights in Togo show there is still room to improve. It is essential that Togo continues to focus on advancements for women so there can be political, educational and financial equality between both genders in Togo, creating a strong flourishing community.

– Malena Larsen
Photo: Flickr

Togo Women Empower Themselves
The West African country of Togo has a long history of military rule and had General Gnassingbé Eyadema installed as president from 1967 until his death in 2005. Under his leadership, many human rights abuses were reported and he tightly controlled all aspects of the Togo government.

Soon after General Eyadema died, his son Faure Gnassingbé was appointed as president by the Togo military. However, he yielded to the objections of foreign and domestic protesters and held elections. He won the elections, but the legitimacy of the elections have been a subject of ongoing debate, and his presidency remains controversial because his family has essentially maintained a 50-year-long dynasty in Togo. However, under his rule Togo has demonstrated gradual democratic improvement, holding legislative elections in 2013 and a presidential vote in 2015 that was deemed credible by the international community.

Women in Togo

Although women in Togo are legally considered equal to men, in many ways they are treated as second-class citizens. Togolese women are three times less likely to be sent to primary school, they experience a great deal of discrimination both in searching for work and once they find a job and they must defer to their husbands or brothers when it comes to managing the household. A woman, according to Togolese tradition, can never be the head of her own household. Although women in Togo are positioned as the inferior sex according to the customs of the country and gender discrimination is still prevalent, they still empower themselves by finding unique and creative ways to get their voices heard.

Sexual Boycott

In 2012, a group of Togolese women from an organization called Let’s Save Togo resolved to go on a sex strike in a hope of persuading their male counterparts to take a stand against President Gnassingbé. This sexual boycott, also known as a Lysistrata, was inspired by the Liberian activists who held their own sex strike in protest of violence against women in 2003. Though the Togolese president ultimately did not step down at that point as a result of the strike, it was a notable example of how a nominally disenfranchised group could find a way to speak out and take a stand.

The movement opposing the rule of President Faure Gnassingbé is still very much in effect and Togolese women continue to play a critical role despite the dangers associated with trying to topple such a powerful man. The market women of Togo are largely responsible for financing the opposition to Eyedema, and in return, two of their buildings have been burned down by the government. Though officially a republic, Togo has essentially operated as a dictatorship, with the same family in power for over 50 years, and the Togolese women have had enough.

Plan International Togo

Faced with economic and political challenges in a country that still has a dismal ranking of 134th in U.N. Women’s Gender Inequality Index, Togo women empower themselves with an inner strength and resilience that transcends generations of oppression. The nongovernmental organization Plan International Togo is lending their support with a variety of programs for women and girls. They are providing health education, early marriage prevention and training on citizenship and the basics of government so that women can become more active in the political process.

Togolese women have always been on the front lines of political change, even fighting increased taxation during the period of French colonialism. They continue to make great strides, seemingly undaunted by the limitations that society has tried to impose on them. The way that Togo women empower themselves today would make their predecessors very proud.

– Raquel Ramos

Photo: Flickr

Togo Charity Works to Help Rural Villages Out of Poverty

Togo has struggled to lift its citizens, especially those in rural areas, out of poverty and to ensure adequate access to necessities such as sanitation and drinking water.

A report by the International Monetary Fund found that in 2011, the percent of the rural population that lived below the poverty line was 73.4 percent. In urban areas, the rate was 44.7 percent.

Water Sanitation and Access to Clean Water

Specifically in regards to water sanitation and drinking water, work has been done by various organizations to improve access to these necessities, and as a result, help rural villages out of poverty.

The Water Governance Facility (WGF), backed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), stated on its website that in 2015, 63 percent of Togo’s urban population had access to drinkable water, while in rural areas only 44 percent had access. The same report found that only 11 percent of Togo’s population benefited from water sanitation facilities.

These statistics were reported as part of a larger program called Governance, Advocacy and Leadership in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene that was implemented by the WGF in conjunction with the UNDP from 2014 to 2017.

The Power of Local Aid Groups

However, assistance has also come from organizations closer to home, which strive to help rural villages out of poverty and address its accompanying effects.

Recently, the Togo charity Christian Charity for People in Distress (CCPD) was awarded the Kyoto World Water Grand Prize for the work it has done to help a village of 290 people improve its water sanitation.

CCPD is based in Kpalimé, Togo and was created in April 2004 as a nonprofit Christian charity. The organization’s mission statement declares that its goal is to help rural villages out of poverty by further developing water access, sanitation and hygiene, as well as improving agricultural development, the environment and education.

On its website, CCPD lists four main objectives it seeks to accomplish through its charity work:

  • Protecting the rights of women and children.
  • Assisting the rural population of Togo in obtaining decent education and healthcare, and providing access to drinking water and sanitation.
  • Helping to economically develop rural areas by working alongside farmers to generate more income.
  • Facilitating food self-sufficiency in rural areas of Togo.

Making a Difference

Since 2006, CCPD’s water, sanitation and hygiene programs have aided more than 6,000 people. These programs usually involve the construction of wells, latrines and ECOSAN toilets, which is a waterless toilet designed to save water in countries that do not have water security. In addition, CCPD has worked to help rural villages out of poverty by providing school supplies to primary and secondary school students, aided in the construction of new schools and improved computer skills in adults and children.

The charity is the second African organization to win the Kyoto World Water Grand Prize, which will not only improve sanitation and water conditions, but will also decrease deaths related to illnesses such as cholera that are caused by poor sanitation.

CCPD has been aiding impoverished, rural areas of Togo since its creation, and does far more than just water and sanitation work. The charity’s efforts in regards to education, agricultural development, business development and environmental protection have all impacted communities in Togo and given them the help they need to transition out of poverty.

– Jennifer Jones

sustainable agriculture in TogoTogo is a West African nation on the Gulf of Guinea known for its palm-lined beaches and hilltop villages. With 32 percent of the population living below the poverty line, there have been efforts made toward improving sustainable agriculture in Togo.

Togo’s small sub-Saharan economy is dependent on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, with cocoa, coffee and cotton generating about 40 percent of export earnings. Additional products include beans, cassava, fish, livestock, maize, millet, rice, sorghum and yams. Of the nation’s total land area, 44 percent is used for cultivated crops and two percent for permanent crops like fruit- and nut-bearing trees.

The organization Fly for Life is a nonprofit with the mission to promote sustainable tourism and organic farming by improving the environment, education and incomes of farming communities. Jeremies Pimzi, a social entrepreneur, founded Fly for Life. With help from eco-volunteers, the organization has been able to successfully provide more sustainability in Togo, such as training programs in organic methods, sustainability education and financial management.

Eco-volunteers provide skills and training on increasing sustainable tourism and organic farming. In exchange, the volunteers gain firsthand knowledge about the local customs and culture and develop close relationships with the Togolese. Some of the funding from volunteers has also supported education in the small farming communities of Havu and Soumdina Mountain Village, helping families afford school for their children.

Over 90 percent of the small communities that Fly for Life engages with are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. Environmental issues in Togo include deforestation due to slash-and-burn agriculture, the use of wood for fuel and water pollution. The nonprofit aims to transition the nation from unsustainable farming practices to organic methods.

Another key project that addressed sustainable agriculture in Togo was USAID WAFP, or West Africa Fertilizer Program, which occurred from 2012-2017. The project was meant to improve the supply and distribution of appropriate and affordable fertilizers in West Africa. The project broadened its reach to have regional impact across the West Africa sub-region, benefiting 15 ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) countries as well as Mauritania and Chad.

To accomplish its goal, WAFP focused on creating a conducive policy for increased investment in the fertilizer business. It facilitated access to business, investment and financing information that allowed the private sector to deliver quality and affordable fertilizers to farmers.

Because of the work of organizations and the implementation of eco-friendly ideas and practices, there can be better, more sustainable agriculture in Togo.

– Julia Lee

Photo: Flickr

Infrastructure in TogoTogo, a West African nation on the Gulf of Guinea, shares a border with Ghana and has an estimated population of 7.6 million as of 2016. Togo is working towards improving its economy and relations by improving the country’s infrastructure.

Infrastructure is a crucial platform that supports countries, whether it be via economic or social means. Oftentimes, basic infrastructure such as power and water are lacking or in need of upgrades to sustain communities and development.

Power infrastructure in Togo is being improved with support from investors and consultation from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). ContourGlobal, a power company, is helping Togo meet the growing demand for power. The IFC is investing 20 percent equity in ContourGlobal for the development and operation of a 100-megawatt power plant located in Togo’s capital, Lomé. It now produces enough electricity for the city and will soon be enough to sustain regional power supplies. Electricity infrastructure in Togo has proven reliable and efficient in assisting communities as well as encouraging investment in infrastructure that will prove successful for Togo in the long run.

The World Bank has also assisted Togo with infrastructure development. The Emergency Infrastructure and Electricity Rehabilitation Project (PURISE) will support the Togolese government in restoring and expanding infrastructure in Togo. This project will improve urban mobility and access to remote locations as well as provide temporary work for workers in Togo.

PURISE is split into four categories, each one focused on areas needing improvement. One of the categories will focus on the drainage of unclean drinking water and replace outdated gutters with sustainable drainage networks. The water infrastructure in Togo is also seeing improvement via projects. One of the categories in PURISE is set to increase water access and improve the quality of drinking water. This will be achieved with networks of water systems between communities and installing pipes and water kiosks.

UNICEF states that 39 percent of Togolese do not have access to clean water and a quarter of the Togolese population does not have access to water within walking distance. The government of Togo has made commitments to improving water and sanitation, including eliminating open defecation and establishing sanitation and hygiene resource departments.

Infrastructure in Togo is slowly growing throughout the country. With investments being made in basic resources, Togo is sure to see beneficial modernization.

– Jennifer Serrato

Photo: Flickr

Focus on Farm Development Projects in Togo
Two out of five Togolese live on less than $1.25 a day and a quarter of all children under the age of five are malnourished. In addition, one-third of the population is in need of clean drinking water. Adopting a democracy in 2012, Togo has expanded its parliament ideals with a focus on developing the country for the betterment of its people. As the country crafts various projects for maturation of the economy and land, one of the main development projects in Togo is farm development. But why?

 

Why Agriculture is Important to Togo

Agriculture is the cornerstone of Togolese economy. Developing agriculture is critical in the fight against poverty and food security since about eighty percent of the people live off farming.

In 2015, 55 percent of households were below the poverty line, mostly those in rural communities. Due to the high rate of rural poverty, the World Bank and the Global Agriculture and Food and Security Program (GAFSP) invested in Agriculture Sector Support Project (PASA) to help almost 14,000 smallholder farmers and 3,300 livestock farmers enhance their livelihoods and provide a better future for themselves and families. The GAFSP was established in 2010 as a multi-donor trust fund to improve food security in the world’s poorest countries.

 

Going Green for Agriculture

Since 2014, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development started the Green Innovation Centres which focus on enhancing Food and Nutrition Security in Togo.

The objectives of the first project have been to increase the incomes of small farming enterprises, improve the regional food supply in rural target regions and boost employment. For the second project, the objective is making sure members of households at risk of malnutrition, even during a food crisis, have sufficient supplies of healthy food in their possession at all times. With this being part of the development projects in Togo for the next six years, the country could see a significant decrease in their malnutrition rates.

 

Other Development Projects in Togo

Other development projects in Togo have also risen throughout the years. For instance, the $26.2 million Urban Development project concluded in 2002, and assisted helping the urban development policy with several objectives, including laying the groundwork for innovations needed to reform the management of urban development in Togo and strengthening local governments ability to administer the city.

Approved in 2015, the development projects of Togo have focused on mining, university education and public administration. These projects totaled $15.20 million and have a closing date of December 31st, 2020.

Though other development projects in Togo may bring improvement to infrastructure and education, soon many more citizens can sleep with a full belly and retain profits from their farming labor.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr