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10 Dec 2015 description
report IRIN

PARIS, 10 December 2015 (IRIN) - As weather becomes more extreme and erratic, the scramble for a bigger and better set of tools to cope with the fallout is on.

“Science is quite clear that we’re experiencing more frequent extremes. While we’re sure about some of the impacts and extremes, we’re also getting more surprises,” Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre told IRIN on the sidelines of COP21. “And as the Earth keeps warming, there will be more of these surprises.”

13 Nov 2015 description
report IRIN

By Daniel Adde

LOME, 13 November 2015 (IRIN) - Togo’s former capital city, Aneho, and dozens of surrounding villages, along with the main road that links the west African country to Benin, are likely to disappear from the map by 2038, local authorities and international experts say, if nothing is done to reverse the erosion that is currently eating away between six and 10 meters of coastal land each year.

25 Aug 2015 description
report IRIN

ABIDJAN, 25 August 2015 (IRIN) - Twelve-year-old Arouna* stands shirtless in a cocoa field in southwestern Côte d’Ivoire holding a hoe, his ribs clearly visible under his dark skin.

“I have to get up very early each day to be the first in the field with my younger brother, aged 10, to start clearing [the land],” he told IRIN. “I’m so tired.”

29 Oct 2014 description
report IRIN

DAKAR, 29 October 2014 (IRIN) - Food security and malnutrition rates across the Sahel are deteriorating, due in large part to ongoing conflict and instability in the Central African Republic (CAR), northern Mali, and northeast Nigeria, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Nearly five million more people have joined the ranks of the food insecure since the beginning of the year, bringing the estimated total in need of food aid to 24.7 million - more than double the number in 2013, says OCHA.

19 Dec 2013 description
report IRIN

ABIDJAN, 19 December 2013 (IRIN) - Fear of reprisal is preventing thousands of Ivoirians from returning to Cote d’Ivoire from Ghana and Togo, where they sought refuge following the violently disputed 2010-2011 presidential elections.

Of the 12,500 Ivoirians who fled to the two countries, only 710 have returned home, according to the state-run Service for the Assistance of Refugees and Stateless People (SAARA).

17 Sep 2013 description
report IRIN

DAKAR, 17 September 2013 (IRIN) - Floods have killed 84 people, displaced 40,445 and affected 323,396 in West Africa this year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), while 34,000 hectares of agricultural land has been damaged. Guinea, Sierra Leone, western Mali and parts of southern Senegal have been the most affected.

15 Aug 2013 description
report IRIN

LOME, 15 August 2013 (IRIN) - Togo's July legislative polls extended the dominance of President Faure Gnassingbé's party, which has been in power since 1967, despite opposition claims of malpractice. These results could narrow the chances for reforms and presage the results of the 2015 presidential election, analysts say.

23 Jul 2013 description
report IRIN

DAKAR, 23 July 2013 (IRIN) - Drastic water loss in West Africa's River Volta basin - covering Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, and Togo - could deprive millions of people of food and hydropower in coming years due to climate change, researchers predict.

14 Jun 2013 description
report IRIN

DAKAR/NIAMEY, 13 June 2013 (IRIN) - West African and Sahel countries are setting up measures to minimize flood damage as the annual rainy season approaches. The African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) in a seasonal weather outlook says near-average or above-average rainfall is likely over the western Sahel, which stretches across Mauritania, Senegal and western and central Niger.

13 Dec 2012 description
report IRIN

LOME, 13 December 2012 (IRIN) - The spread of viral hepatitis in Togo, where there is little awareness of the disease and most people discover by chance that they are infected, is causing concern, says the Save Africa from Hepatitis Society (ASADH), which is working with the Health Ministry to combat the disease.

No country-wide survey has yet been conducted to establish an official prevalence rate for hepatitis in Togo because the disease is not one of 10 priority diseases identified by the Togolese government, so there is no national programme against it.

24 Oct 2012 description
report IRIN

LOME, 24 October 2012 (IRIN) - A recent wave of protests by Togolese opposition groups and a heavy-handed clampdown by security forces have set the scene for a tense struggle for reforms in a country that has been ruled for 45 years by a father and his son.

05 Sep 2012 description
report IRIN

LOME, 5 September 2012 (IRIN) - Togo's 12 prisons - many of them dilapidated - hold more than twice their designed capacity. The congestion, as well as inadequate food, medical care and poor hygiene have led to diseases and deaths.

Drawn-out court cases and procedures, arbitrary arrests as well as the detention of petty offenders without the option of bail are among the factors causing prison congestion, according the Togolese Human Rights League (LTDH).

29 Jul 2012 description
report IRIN

M'BERA, 30 July 2012 (IRIN) - The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says it is "woefully underfunded" to help Malians fleeing fighting who have sought refuge across the border in Mauritania's M'bera camp, and other neighbouring countries.

19 Jun 2012 description
report IRIN

LOME, 19 June 2012 (IRIN) - Out of fear, shame and strong traditional beliefs, disabled children in Togo are often ridiculed, hidden indoors for years and neglected, cutting them off from normal life and worsening their plight.

"I was told I was good for nothing. Even my brothers and sisters said I was inferior to them, and they mocked me," said Sofia Adama*, 18, who was left disabled by a botched injection when she was a baby.

02 Apr 2012 description
report IRIN

BINGERVILLE/DAKAR, 2 April 2012 (IRIN) - Unpredictable rainfall in parts of Côte d’Ivoire cost some farmers over half of their harvest in 2011 producers told IRIN, but, armed with more knowledge about how to get weather reports and interpret them, they might still have been able to boost their output, say agricultural specialists.

11 Jan 2012 description
report IRIN

BANGKOK, 11 January 2012 (IRIN) - Findings that a one-time oral treatment to cure yaws, a neglected tropical disease, is as effective as the currently recommended penicillin injection have prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to convene a meeting on how the disease may be wiped out.

04 Jan 2012 description
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DAKAR, 4 January 2012 (IRIN) - A new report on child migration in West Africa says thousands of children are being sold, exchanged or transported out of their communities each year in violation of internationally-recognized rights of the child, and calls on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to persuade governments to better protect these children.

29 Nov 2011 description
report IRIN

LOMÉ, 29 November 2011 (IRIN) - West African states are pledging to work together to fight the piracy spreading across the Gulf of Guinea, where it is damaging local economies and starting to impact on the region's trade, according to the United Nations.

Some 53 piracy attacks have been reported in 2011, up from 47 in 2010. Four of the reported attacks occurred off Togo and 22 off Benin, which share 177km of coastline, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Neither country reported a single attack in 2010.

27 Sep 2010 description
report IRIN

GRAND BASSAM, 27 September 2010 (IRIN) - "Animal production - that is nutrition." The statement by Victoria Tsekpo of Ghana's Food and Agriculture Ministry summed up one of the themes that emerged at a nutrition forum of the Economic Community of West African States - helping nutrition find its place in the agriculture sector.

Health, nutrition and agriculture experts from the 15 ECOWAS countries said nutrition usually gains attention only in the context of crisis and emergency response, but it should be integral to agricultural and development programmes if countries are …