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Panel Registers Request for Inspection of West Africa Coastal Resilience Projects

The Inspection Panel on September 7, 2021, issued a Notice of Registration for a Request for Inspection of the West Africa Coastal Areas Resilience Investment Project and its Additional Financing and the Global Environment Facility in Togo.

The Request was submitted on August 4, 2021, by two community members living in the villages of Kpogan and Kpeme on the coast of Togo who claim to represent fishermen of their communities. On August 27, 2021, a third community member living in the Togolese village of Agbodrafo signed the Request. That same day the Panel received additional signatures from 27 project-affected persons living in nine villages in Togo, and from a community-based organization, authorizing the Requesters to represent them. The Requesters have asked the Panel to keep their identities confidential. 

The Requesters allege that the projects, which intend to implement resilience measures in the coastal area, will adversely affect the fishermen, residents and property owners along the Togolese coast. The Requesters raise three areas of concern. They claim that as a result of the project activities a smaller area of the beach will remain for the fishermen to access and use for their fishing activities, impacting the main source of livelihood for the fishermen and the community. The Requesters are also concerned about the involuntary resettlement process allegedly attributed to the projects and the loss of their land titles once their land is reclaimed by the government. Finally, they claim that project-affect persons have not received adequate and timely project information and have not been meaningfully consulted about project activities.  

The Panel’s registration implies no judgment whatsoever concerning the merits of a Request for Inspection. Bank management must provide the Panel with a response to the issues raised in the Request for Inspection by October 6, 2021. After receiving the response and engaging with the relevant stakeholders, the Panel will make a recommendation to the Board of Executive Directors on whether the matter should be investigated. More