Isolated village in the south of Benin, Togbota is a charming town more or less protected from the sudden development experienced by some of its neighbors. Unfortunately, this places Togbota far from the caring eye of the government. 90% of its 5200 inhabitants are suffering from one of three local endemic diseases. Its undersized health clinic is victim each year to endemic flooding which destroy supplies and deteriorates equipment and buildings. To address this situation, the association Urgence Afrique (Emergency Africa) has been active for years on many fronts, and now would like to build a new facility on stilts, with the goal of achieving a significant improvement of care and a significant reduction in infant and maternal mortality. This exciting project needs your help!
A Slowly Improving Situation
For the last 5 years, Emergency Africa has striven to improve local health outcomes, by managing the only clinic in Togbota. It currently has three permanent employees (a nurse, a caregiver, and a health assistant) who are regularly assisted by healthcare professionals who are on on-site solidarity missions. A mutual system of cost spreading has been established at very accessible prices leading to a significant reduction in the cost of care. Finally, the association has organized many information and awareness campaigns for the development of preventive treatments against Bilharzia, Buruli ulcer and Malaria, especially among children. These various initiatives have gained the support of the people and have allowed a significant improvement of the health situation amongst village residents who turn less and less to faith healers. The center received no less than 2,600 consultations in 2011 and the number of amputations due to Buruli ulcer has fallen sharply with only one case vs. 15 in 2007.
Decent healthcare threatened
Unfortunately, this situation remains inadequate to the real needs of the population. Indeed, in addition to its growing under-dimensioning, the clinic is a victim of the location of the village. Located between two rivers, each year it suffers the consequences of dramatic floods that can reach 2 meters and systematically ravage the equipment and supplies and deteriorates the clinic's structure.
Urgence Afrique therefore has plans to build, in the short term a new, larger, health center on stilts that meets modern health standards. Electricians Without Borders has volunteered to install a reliable electrical supply, allowing potential investment in modern efficient equipment and, of course, better refrigeration of medical supplies. This project also opens up opportunities for local hires that will create a true local medical institution, leading to better consultions and gives hope for a real reduction of infant and maternal mortality.
A Comprehensive Development Program
If this project deserves to be defended, it's also, and perhaps more importantly because it is part of a policy of comprehensive and sustainable development of the community, respectful of its traditions and its resources. Indeed, in addition to the health aspect, the association takes the lead on many other complementary and indispensable projects. For educational: in addition to the aid the association brings to traditional schools, it has created the Children's House, a parallel pre-school structure which includes introductory French language teaching, (French is the official language in Benin schools). On the economic development front, after having recently made access to safe drinking water possible, the association has now created an agricultural site, where groups of women in the village can create, for the first time, economic activity based on the marketing of the livestock and gardening they produce. Finally, on the nvironmental side, Africa Emergency tries to make the local people more sensitive to the need for conservation of the very rich fauna and flora of the locale, so far well-preserved by the remoteness of the village, especially the protection of the rare zinkaka monkey. The association has also developed a nursery to deal with the deforestation of the region and the consequent erosion of its banks.
While Togbota today faces significant challenges, this charming and unspoilt village offers real prospects for development for its 5200 inhabitants. If Emergency Africa is so actively engaged today, it is so that this development comes to fruition under conditions that benefit its residents without compromising the resources and environment. This association needs your support: please add the Shop Fairly extension browser today, and automatically collect for this great cause with your next purchase online!
Urgence Afrique est une ONG de solidarité internationale, essentiellement présente en Afrique de l’Ouest, dont l’objectif prioritaire est de satisfaire les besoins fondamentaux des populations isolées tels que l’accès à l’eau potable, la nourriture, l’énergie, la santé et l’éducation.
Fondée en 2006 par Olivier Lombart, elle suit une voie originale et efficace privilégiant les embauches locales et pérennes et accordant un soin extrême à l’optimisation de ses ressources limitées, en s’appuyant notamment sur un vaste réseau de bénévoles professionnels qui partent en mission de solidarité à leur frais.
Pour assurer la pérennité de ses programmes, elle développe autant que possible une approche globale qui permet de résoudre plus efficacement les problèmes rencontrés par les populations locales et vise à mettre en place des activités génératrices de revenus qui intègrent systématiquement le respect de l’environnement et des ressources disponibles et s’appuie sur le principe du transfert des compétences notamment à destination des groupements de femmes.
Shop Fairly asks partner organizations to use the raised funds for the realization of selected projects presented on their website. However, in some cases, in particular when a project requires long or complex financing, Shop Fairly proposes to reallocate these funds to more immediate needs and as much as possible in line with initial project. Our objective is always that contributed funds find a real utility as quickly as possible.