The Togolese Republic (Togo) is located in West Africa on the Atlantic coast of the Gulf of Guinea. The country spans an area of 54,400 km2 encompassing rolling hills (the Chaîne du Togo) in the north, a southern plateau (Ouatchi Plateau or Terre de Barre), and a low coastal plain with extensive lagoons and marshes. A number of lakes dot the Togolese landscape, the largest being Lake Togo, in the south. In 2006, the country had an estimated population of of 6.6 million with an average annual growth rate of 2.5%. Considered to be one of the poorest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Togo’s average per capita GNP is estimated at US $440. This is particularly low compared to the Sub-Saharan Africa average (US $842) and to the Low-Income Countries average (US $650). In Togo, over 61% of the population lives below the poverty line, a situation more acute in rural areas. Rural poverty is a significant problem in the country; the Savannah region is the poorest with roughly 90% living in poverty, followed by the Central region (78%), Kara (75%), Coastal (69%), Plateau (56%), and Lomé (24%). Undernourishment afflicts 64.2% of the population, and the poor lack reliable access to education, health, electricity, and drinking water. The country’s poverty is in part due to the political turmoil it experienced between 1991-2006 when per capita incomes fell by 20%. In addition to widespread poverty, environmental problems and population growth continue to hinder advancements in development. Togo’s natural resources are being depleted rapidly with devastating consequences for the ecosystem. In particular, clean water is becoming increasingly scarce.
Selected Indicators for Impacts and Vulnerabilities