Green squad for the forest police

"Everyone feels concerned by the renovation of forest," said Boyindjo Awoussi Tchakala, Executive Director of Dimension Humaine NGO headquarted in Sokode.

Her organization has already created seven community forests in seven cantons of Tchaoudjo prefecture and repaired Atindjori hill, in Kpassouade canton (central region of Togo).

As she said, the bet was held thanks to the financial support of 11 million CFA from the Ministry of Environment through its decentralized environmental management program, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

"The funds were used to raise awareness, buy seedlings to rehabilitate 35 hectares of community forests in seven cantons including Tchalo, Sokode, Kpangalam, Kpassouade, Kparatao and repair 10 hectare of Atindjori hill. We also supported some people in Income Generating Activities (IGAs) by giving to them small ruminants and strain poultry," Tchakala told agridigitale.

She testified that "the project owes its success to the awareness, communication and especially, the help of opinion leaders who facilitated the work of change of mentality of the populations who today, have appropriated the project of renovation and of forest cover conservation."

"We set up a committee called a community green squad, volunteers by canton who take care of these forests and are there to react when there is a little worry like bushfires and to take people to the canton chiefs in case of uncontrolled cutting of wood or any inconvenience that could damage the forest," she explained.

Today, poachers and nomadic Fulani remain a puzzle for Ms. Tchakalla.

"We are asking the central authority to help us with this issue of transhumance so that we can safeguard our protected areas, our assets, our crops," she pleaded.

Dimension Humaine NGO calls for help to support its initiatives for the creation of community forests in other localities in the region. Because for her, it is the only way to save the planet from global warming.

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