The city of Tsévié in Togo is an important commercial centre linking the north and south of Togo. It is the third largest city in the country with 54,000 inhabitants, located 32 kilometres north of the capital city of Lomé. Known for its high crime rates, from violent crime to petty theft and pick pocketing, Tsévié inhabitants – in particular women – have been especially vulnerable to crime due to the city’s poor safety provisions for its citizens. The poorly lit streets and homes have exacerbated the situation.
Through the support from the EU-funded Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) initiative, Tsévié’s citizens, hospitals and schools now benefit from solar street lighting and solar kits for its inhabitants. Since the lighting of the city, Tsévié has seen a significant reduction in theft and aggression. The installation of solar kits in homes has changed the lives of many of the residents, who are now excited to extend their day in ways that they could not before: from the simplest of tasks, such as charging their mobile devices, listening to the radio, and watching TV.
At night, people are not only able to go about their lives without fear of being robbed, but school children are now able to study in the evenings, which has already had an impact on improving their performance at school. Those who had used kerosene lamps and had to suffer the associated health implications, such as eye irritation and respiratory problems, can now see a clear improvement of their health. Hospitals that had to close their doors at night due to the lack of lighting can now stay open and provide their essential services regardless of the time of day.
Schools can now welcome their students in the evening to study, which contributes to improving their results.
Mr. Kossi Attivi, Director of Have-Kodjo High School
All this has radically improved the lives of the city’s inhabitants. Madame Victoria Afidegnon, a resident from the Tsévié community, explains: “We had no light before they gave us the kits, now we feel safe and not afraid to go out at night, and my children can do their homework”. Another citizen, Mr. Kossi Attivi, Director of Have-Kodjo High School, underlines the project’s strong positive impact on education: “Schools can now welcome their students in the evening to study, which contributes to improving their results”.
The project has also promoted the use of improved stoves within the neighbourhoods to reduce the amount of wood used to cook food, seen as an intermediate solution to help the transition towards cleaner energy for households in the medium term. The stoves were produced locally with 80% of production costs funded by the project, allowing citizens to acquire improved stoves at affordable prices.
An additional component of the project focused on improving urban mobility through the purchase of two buses that link Tsévié with Lomé. This has provided an affordable and more sustainable solution for the population of the municipality that are using this inter-urban mode of transport daily.
The Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) was launched in 2015 and is part of the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM), the largest network of cities driving urban climate action, uniting more than 10,000 municipalities in their fight against climate change.