In July, over 275 people attended the launch of the Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plan (SEACAP) of the cities of Tchaoudjo in Togo. Officially signed by the Mayors of the four cities in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and Forest Resources, the Ministry for Territorial Development, technical and financial partners, and importantly representatives of the community, the document and its objectives were presented by the municipal teams.
“Drawing up this plan has enabled us to develop a shared vision for building a resilient territory, with an economy based on low-carbon activities. It takes into account our ambitions to provide universal access to electricity for our citizens while adopting the low-carbon technologies needed to mitigate the effects of climate change.” (Korodowou Ahini Mankana, Mayor of Tchaoudjo 1)
To achieve this objective, the SEACAP of the cities of Tchaoudjo will focus on the key development sectors of these territories, as well as on their main vulnerabilities. Tchaoudjo is first and foremost a land of agriculture and commerce. These sectors provide a large part of the region's income and help to ensure Togo's food security. Studies carried out as part of the preparations for the SEACAP have shown that climate change is causing repeated droughts and floods, accelerating soil degradation, reducing yields from agricultural plots, and drying up the rivers that irrigate them.
By taking action in strategic areas such as agroecology and agroforestry, as well as improving sanitation, promoting renewable energies, and developing public transport, the implementation of the SEACAP should enable the cities to effectively combat poverty and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.
“The cities of Tchaoudjo have made a strong political decision to support their local development without compromising the future of the planet. They can count on the support of the European Union in making this decision” (Augustin Favereau, French Ambassador to Togo)
Thanks to financial support from the European Union (EU) and technical assistance from Expertise France, the cities of Tchaoudjo were able to carry out local data collection and consultation workshops, enabling the construction of this strategic document which identifies 40 concrete actions, whose implementation will ensure the territory's resilience to the effects of climate change, while extending access to clean energy, essential to the economic and social development of the cities. The implementation of these actions will also contribute to national efforts to achieve the targets set by Togo as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).“Alongside the 80 Togolese cities that are signatories to CoM SSA, Tchaoudjo reminds us of the central role played by local authorities in the fight against climate change”, pointed out Ms. Atsounotou, Director of Forest Resources at the Ministry of the Environment and Forest Resources.
To give a concrete dimension to the presentation of the plan, this event was also an opportunity for the cities to present their flagship projects linked to the climate and energy challenges they face, in particular the solar electrification project of the regional hospital, the technical high school and the future market, as part of their cooperation with the city of Nuremberg (Germany). A project to improve waste management, also financed by the EU and currently underway, was also presented. Finally, participants were also able to visit strategic sites of the territory, such as the Tchaoudjo 1 sewage sludge treatment plant and the landfill centre; as well as the Lama-Tessi market in Tchaoudjo 2, which is the subject of a pilot solar street lighting project designed to enable users, particularly women, to extend their working hours in complete safety.
As the Mayor of Tchaoudjo 1 emphasised, “the time for action has arrived”: drawing up this plan was a crucial step for climate action for the cities of Tchaoudjo, but now the challenge is implementation. The cities thus called on their partners and stakeholders to mobilise to “support the transition of our communities and economies towards a resilient and eco-responsible mode of development”.