Bicycle path to promote health in Aného, Togo
Picture of bicycle path built in Aného, Togo to promote health.
Coastal erosion continues to pose a serious threat to the inhabitants of Togo, particularly in the Lacs prefecture. However, thanks to the WACA project, the entire Togolese coastline is being protected through the construction of various defensive structures. In addition to groins, breakwaters and sand dykes, a cycle and pedestrian path has been laid, bringing joy to local authorities, the local population and, of course, cycling and sports enthusiasts.
The path, 3.6 kilometers long and around two meters wide, stretches from the fence of the Aného Police Station to the Habitat district. Not only does it enhance the landscape, it also enables pedestrians, cyclists and sports enthusiasts to walk along the beach without having to worry about the holes and sandy gradients that used to characterize the old national road. These irregularities could cause sprains or worse to users, most of whom were sports enthusiasts.
The track was officially completed last May by the Dutch company Boskalis, and provisionally handed over in September. It forms part of the associated coastal protection works in the town of Aného, as part of the implementation of the WACA project. The project, a real gem, was warmly welcomed by local authorities, the local population and residents alike. All expressed their gratitude to the WACA project and its partners, notably the World Bank, the IDA and the Global Environment Facility, for having protected their homes through the construction of sea defences.
In addition to the local authorities, many citizens and local residents expressed their satisfaction. For Razak Assani, 67, a retired house painter who used to work for Travaux Publics des Lacs, the completion of this cycle path is a blessing, because as a keen cyclist, he says it allows him to get around quickly, breathe in the sea air and admire the environment without fear of falling. However, he deplored the uncivil behavior of some motorcyclists and vehicle drivers who ignore the ban on using the trail, despite the presence of warning signs. According to him, whenever he notices such offences, he approaches the offenders in a friendly manner to remind them of the risks of accidents and the need to preserve this precious work.
Many students from the Saints Pierre et Paul College, located close to the track, have also expressed their satisfaction with the coastal protection work. Thanks to this work, they now have a new sports field along the cycle path, providing an ideal setting for their physical activities.
Author: Alice SANDO, UGP WACA Togo