Blog | 2024-02-19

Togo's coastal resilience: the WACA ResIP project brings new life to a sea-sunken soccer pitch in Aného

Sports activities organized on the soccer pitch previously swallowed up by the sea in Aného.

"Coastal erosion had ravaged the beach area that used to be our sports field. But thanks to the WACA ResIP (West Africa Coastal Zone Resilience Investment Project), financed by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, we've got it back," enthused Mr. Kokin Kotè Colé, a physical education teacher at Collège Saints Pierre et Paul (CSPP) in Aného, after a running and stretching session with his pupils on the pitch located on the beach opposite his school.

Since the start of the new school year, his sporting activities are no longer held at Place Boka, some 500 meters from the college, but rather barely twenty meters away.

"For us, it's a physical preparation area, a soccer pitch that can easily be used for beach volleyball or beachsoccer," he says.

The risks of students having to cross the road to play sports are thus a thing of the past.

According to him, the trip to the Boka field was not without risks. They'd have to cross the N02 national road, losing almost 20 minutes each way, with little time for exercise," he says with sadness in his voice, recalling the past.

The site's rehabilitation was made possible thanks to the WACA project teams' efforts to raise awareness among local residents, well before work began. This field is not ours at all; it's for the whole town of Aného.

One site for all

For Aguiar Moustapha, a former player with Gbohloè-Su des Lacs who has become a coach for young people in the local neighborhoods, the rehabilitation of the beach pitch is salutary, as it enables them to toughen up, train and play soccer competitions.

This jewel is the pride of all local residents, who rejoice when they step on the Collège Saints Pierre et Paul beach pitch. They pray every time that, with WACA's work, coastal erosion will remain a distant nightmare.


Date: 2024-02-19


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