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Togo grappling with coastal erosion and advancing coastline

Dozens of villages along the Togolese coasts are endangered because coastal erosion is swallowing 5 to 10 meters of the coastline annually.

In Kpeme town about 30 kilometers from the capital Lome, the phenomenon is very advanced. Roads,schools,houses, nothing can resist the fury of the ocean.

According to experts, this is one of the direct consequences of global warming.

Environmentalist, Fabrice Kodjo said “For many years, climate change has taken toll worldwide. These climate change impacts including several flash floods and the rise and fall of the sea level. We now know that it also causes coastal erosion, and several other natural disasters.”

Despite the abundance of fish in these waters, fishermen who have been living in the region for generations, know that their good days are numbered. They feel powerless against the advancing coastline.

“Because of the threats now being posed by the sea, our fishermen brothers have been leaving the country. Some have left to Congo, others in Gabon, Abidjan and Benin until during when the sea stops advancing. If nothing is done, we will also leave,“says local fisherman Kossi Agbleta.

To stop this coastal erosion, the Togolese government has started constructing dykes, while prohibiting sand harvesting along the beaches. Coastal erosion is also affecting other countries in the Gulf of Guinea, including Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Liberia.