Say no to forced evictions in Benin

From the beaches of Cotonou to the shores of Ouidah, thousands of Beninese families live an endless nightmare, victims of forced evictions orchestrated in the name of tourism development. Let us act now so that these families are no longer condemned to live in the shadow of their former homes, so that their right to a secure and prosperous future is respected.

What’s the problem?

One day in September 2021, the brutal demolition of the Fiyégnon 1 district in Cotonou, left more than 3,000 inhabitants homeless and without hope. Without any form of compensation, the authorities threw these people on the pavement. They forced them to sleep under the stars, in precarious conditions, without drinking water, electricity, or even sanitation.

Behind every statistic lie broken destinies, disrupted lives, and torn communities.

Imagine yourself in the place of Théophile, whose canoe now remains unused, condemned to rust on the sand, or Blaise, forced to trade his life as a prosperous fisherman for that of a guard, juggling poverty and insomnia in a cramped housing.

These evictions have not only destroyed people’s livelihoods, but have also shaken the foundations of their communities. Fishing, an economic and cultural pillar for many families, is no longer possible for them. Resettlement sites are far from safe haven. These sites often lack basic services, depriving residents of drinking water, sanitation and even electricity.

Chimène and Yvette, resettled in Ahouandji, have to face unworthy living conditions, where water is a rare commodity, and where toilets are an inaccessible luxury. Entire families find themselves relegated to makeshift shelters, in the shadow of their destroyed homes, with the only hope being insufficient compensation and empty promises.

The Beninese authorities must act urgently to put an end to these inhumane forced evictions. It is imperative to guarantee adequate alternative accommodation for victims. It is crucial that they are fairly compensated for their losses and adequately resettled to live with dignity.

What you can do

Join us in demanding concrete measures in favour of those who have lost so much in the name of tourism development. Send a message to President Talon to demand an end to forced evictions and the prioritisation of people before profit.