Sixty villages in Togo have banded together to safeguard the local hippo population. They hope that in protecting the giant mammals, eco-tourism could be their future.
Project goal: To protect biodiversity along the river Mono that runs between Togo and Benin, and to generate sustainable sources of income for the local population
Project size: Conservation project involving 63 villages and communities
Project partner: Managed and coordinated by the Centre du Dévelopement des Actions Communautaires and supported by the IUCN, UN, GIZ
Project duration: The initiative has been running since 2004
The village of Afito is a five hour drive from Togo's capital Lomé and is just one of 60 taking part in a local conservation initiative along the Mono border river. The project, which covers five lakes, ultimately hopes to promote eco-tourism, but for that to happen it is important to raise awareness of the need to protect biodiversity, not least the hippos that wallow in the swampy lake waters. Where there are hippos, there are bigger fish, which are a vital source of income in Afito.
A film by Thomas Mandlmeier