African Politics and Policy

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Coastal Erosion in Togo

This is a true story, and it is a real problem. Togolese authorities have realized that its coast is being eroded by the ocean ( ).

This erosion is something that we have witnessed first hand in the course of one of our trips to Togo.

It was my second or my third trip to Togo, some friends introduced me to some officials in the Ministry of tourism, I mentioned that one of my friends was running Turismo in Rete and upon hearing these news the government officials decided to take me to the Tropicana with the hope that either myself or my friends of Turismo in Rete could find the resources to buy the Tropicana and restore its past glory.

The Tropicana, along with the Hotel 2 Fevrier and with the Hotel de la Paix, was one of the most beautiful, most sophisticated hotels in the greater Lome’ area. Unlike the Hotel 2 Fevrier, which is close to the government building, the independence square, and the museum and unlike the Hotel de la Paix, which is a (now abandoned) hotel proper, the Tropicana had a major clubhouse surrounded by bungalows.

When the government officials brought me to the Tropicana, the hotel had long been abandoned, and had become the camping site for Ivorian refugees who had come there to escape from danger and never went back home.

The Tropicana had two swimming pools in its heyday. Yet, walking around the property I could spot only one. I asked where the other swimming pool had disappeared and I was told that it had been reclaimed by the ocean which, little by little, was eroding the Togolese coast.

The Togolese coast is being eroded by the Ocean, it’s true. It is a big problem, it’s essential to do something about it and it’s good to know that Togolese authorities are not only aware of the problem but willing to do something about it.

Riccardo Pelizzo

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