Pilote Project in the Community of Toffo


Valorisation site


CHF 200’000


Under study




The town of Toffo is located in the department of Atlantique (Benin) and covers 492 km2. The pedology of the region is characterized by impoverished ferralitic soils; It has about 36’900 ha of arable land. Many of these lands have lost their fertility due to deforestation. The population is estimated at 95’026 in 2013. More than 70% of the jobs are in the agricultural sector, whereas less than 10% are in the artisanal and processing activities. The specter of employment is therefore not wide and this is one of the causes of the rural exodus. The commune has seven markets, the most important of which is that of Houègbo. The modernization of markets to strengthen their character as economic structuring facilities and to make them a permanent source of revenue for the commune must be seen as a major challenge for development. In the commune, modern political power is exercised by the communal council, the head of the district and a neighboring village chief. It should be noted that the mayor is the first elected woman of the country and therefore a symbol of change.


Energy sources are not available in a wide range: wood, charcoal and to a lesser extent electrical energy. The existence of water bodies and a market for the trade are assets for the fishing industry, but this activity is limited by the inorganization of the local players in this sector. Fish farming remains to be invented in the commune. The impact of commercial activities on the environment is perceptible because of the volume of garbage produced. Collective sanitation is not practiced in the commune. The municipal solid waste is thrown here and there into the courtyards of the houses and then evacuated a few days later and disposed in wild dumpings.. Wild dumps can be observed in all the districts, littering streets, public squares, markets, etc.

The project’s objectives :

There are many objectives. Organic waste comes to us. The acceptance of biogas by households as a substitute for wood or charcoal for cooking by introducing an innovative solution (backpacks). The adoption of organic fertilizer by farmers instead of chemical fertilizers. The depollution of the main market of the region. Demonstrating through an entrepreneurial-social pilot project built on the local stakeholder’s acceptance that the waste paradigm and its management can be changed. 164 tons of wood can be preserved (deforestation) and 312 tons of waste will not end up in the wild dumpings every year (pollution). The creation of some 20 direct and indirect jobs. The development of the waste collection activity in collaboration with the municipal authorities. Implementation of a franchise for biogas, creating a commercial activity lead by women.

The impact:

The recovery and processing of six tonnes of waste per week into 200m3 of biogas (60 equipped households) and 8 tonnes of fertilizer for local farmers. Aquaculture activity and purification of 1,000 liters of water per day. Waste management in the market place, new framework for the local waste collector. Awareness program in schools. Women’s leadership takes a prominent place through the mayor of the commune. Biogas activity will also be transmitted to women. The laborious task of collecting and sorting waste will be reserved for men.

Direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project:

The market users (approximately 80’000 people each week) who will benefit from a clean marketplace. 100 households will be remunerated for their personal waste management. 60 households will be equipped with a biogas system and will have access to an ecological and safe solution. Six farmers who will be cleared of animal and agricultural waste and four farmers who will benefit from organic fertilizers at a competitive price. Two women who will manage the biogas franchise. Four young people who form an association of collectors will be equipped to develop their activity. The environment with less waste thrown in nature and less wood cutting for food cooking.

The local community (district of Houègbo of about 14’000 inhabitants) who will see a better management of the waste in its entourage. The merchants of the Houègbo market who will be able to carry out their activities in an improved sanitary framework and will have an additional area of 2’000m2 to conduct business. 900 children from the borough’s main school who will benefit from an awareness program on waste and sustainable development, with partial access to drinking water from the upgrading site.

Project "Cotonou 2019" (in study)