Who am I?

June 22, 2015 – From Aline Freyssinet

I was born on August 1st, 1960. In theory, that means I’ve been an independent nation for 55 years. But in reality, I’m much older because I was a great and powerful kingdom.

My foundation dates back to the early 17th century, probably around 1640.

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I have an elongated shape…
But I’m not a top model.

My colours are green, yellow, and red…
But I’m not a tropical bird.

I speak French…
But I don’t live in Europe or on America.

It’s always hot where I live…
But my year is divided into two distinct seasons: one is rainy, the other dry.

Some people call me the “sick child of Africa”…
But others see in me a strong potential for development. I’m also known as the “Latin Quarter of Africa.”

My neighbours are called Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Togo…
But I maintain relations with the whole world.

Recently, Loodi came to visit me…
Because where I live, water also deserves attention.

Have you guessed yet?

Come on, put in a little extra effort… I am the Republic of Benin.

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And yes, I’m a francophone country in Sub-Sarahan Africa. Porto Novo is my capital. French is my official language but people from over 40 different ethnicities live here. Each one has its own culture, language, and traditions. These ethnic groups have their roots in two main families: the people of the savannah in the north and the people from the Gulf of Guinea in the centre and south.

For me, water is an essential resource. And, even if there is not always enough, it is still there.

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I’m a coastal region. I bathe in the Atlantic Ocean. My coastline stretches over 120 km. I became developed because of this opening onto the sea. For centuries, my main port and economic capital, Cotonou, has allowed me to exchange with the whole world.

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Furthermore, I am crisscrossed by tributaries of the Niger River in the north, and those flowing into the ocean in the south. Each tributary has its own nickname: the Mekrou, Pendjari, Alibori, Sota, Ouémé or Mono. Musical names, right?

Several bodies of water dot my land: Lake Nokoué, and of course the lagood of Porto Novo, my official capital.

Away from the Niger River, my streams drain a large volume of water each year. Is this not further evidence of the importance of preserving aquatic spaces in my home?

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During the monsoon season, water is everywhere! The climate is very humid and the fields regain their colours. Cotton and corn crops need this water.

So you see that it’s important that my people know how important water is. They try to make the best use of these water resources in their daily lives. ut, there is still progress to be made.

In 2011, 76% of the population had access to improved potable water sources but only 14.2% had access to improved sanitation facilities. Read more 

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I need the world to recognize these problems and make a difference. This is why I appreciated Loodi’s visit so much.

I’d like her to visit again and for Ecoloodi to continue to work for the preservation of water resources in my home through basic education.

What about you? Would you like to get to know me better?

If so, don’t hesitate to ask Loodi to put us in touch…

Read this page in: French