Togo battles to save its forests

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Every year Togo loses approximately five million trees according to the environment ministry. 

The government wants to put stop to the destruction and engage in a replanting programme.

In June the started a reforestation operation with the aim of planting 23 million seedlings by the end of 2022. The long term goal is to reach one billion trees by 2030. 

"As per the government's roadmap, the ministry has decreed that one billion seedlings must be planted by 2030. We tell ourselves the government has heard our cries of distress, but it is not only reforesting that interests us at RVT (NGO Reboisons vite le Togo, ed). We want to learn how to do it, how to protect the forest, how to reach the goal", said Sebastien Balouki, executive director of the NGO "Reboisons vite le Togo" (RVT).

90% of househods in Togo rely on firewood for cooking. One way to reduce consumption is through energy efficiency.

As part of those efforts, authorities have embarked on a campaign to promote improved stoves, locally-made cookers that are very economical in charcoal consumption.

The cookers are made using recycled galvanised sheet metal and ceramics.

"The use of these stoves contributes to the reduction of charcoal consumption. For example, if you use this stove with a small amount of charcoal, you can prepare a lot of things with it, and it also reduces cooking time compared to traditional stoves", claims Rodolphe Teko, manufacturer of improved stoves.

Local resident Rebecca Agbogla is happy with the results.

"With this improved stove, we no longer use as much charcoal as before. Look, there are only three pieces of coal and water is boiling", she confirmed. 

According to a report by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation published in 2022, nearly one billion Africans do not have access to a clean source of energy for cooking.

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