GNF - Lake Nokoué in Benin

The Venice of Africa sinks in Garbage – Rescue for Lake Nokoué!

Save the last manatees with us!


Lake Nokoué lies in the densely populated coastal area of Benin – surrounded by the large cities of Cotonou and the capital Porto-Novo with a total population of over one million. In the middle of the lake is the village of Ganvié, built entirely on stilts - the Venice of Africa.


Unpurified sewage and waste from the urban settlement, pesticides, fertilizers and organic matter all lead to the constant deterioration of water quality in Lake Nokoué and threaten the village population.


Poor hygienic conditions lead to diseases such as diarrhoea, bilharzia and cholera, which kill many children under the age of five. In addition, legislation in the protected area cannot be controlled because of a lack of money and staff.

Threatened habitat

The mangrove forests at the transition between the lagoons and the open sea form a particularly valuable habitat worth protecting. The conservation of the mangroves is of great importance not only for the survival of rare animal and plant species but also for local coastal fishing, which feeds hundreds of thousands of families in West Africa. Since 2000, the Porto-Novo Lagoon and Lake Nokoué have been designated as Ramsar Protected Areas.

Danger for the last manatees!

The natural resources, especially fish, wood and water, are also important sources of income for the population, who often live in poverty. However, since fish stocks have fallen dramatically, people have been forced to hunt the last manatees living here.

Start of the project

Together with our project partner AMAF-BENIN, we are starting a project to protect biological diversity in the region. The sustainable management and use of natural resources should contribute to improving the livelihood of local residents. This can only succeed if the local communities are more closely involved in the conservation efforts and the management of the areas.


We must not let up now. With your help, we can:

  • Reforestation of two hectares of degraded forest and mangrove areas
  • Thirty people, mostly local hunters and fishermen, train as multipliers
  • Clean and rehabilitate river and lake banks with the village population from rubbish and refuse
  • Support local authorities in the sustainable management of natural resources and the construction of functioning sewage treatment plants and waste disposal systems

Your donation helps Lake Nokoué!

We need 25,000 Euro for sustainable water management. This will enable us to implement the following measures:


10 Euro: For the breeding of 10 mangrove seedlings in tree nurseries

25 Euro: For cleaning 100 m banks and reforestation with mangroves

50 Euro: For the training of a fisherman for the protection of manatees and mangroves

100 Euro: Advising a village on waste disposal and sustainable water management


Please support our project on Lake Nokoué via online donation.

From vision to mission

"Lake Nokoué is one of the most important fishing grounds in Benin. Its increasing pollution threatens the environment, the aquatic fauna and dramatically endangers human health.”

Fataï Aina, Executive Director of Amis de l'Afrique Francophone-Bénin (AMAF-BENIN)

Worldwide, 2.1 billion people still have no access to hygienically safe drinking water. 4.3 billion people lack decent sanitation. At the same time, the increasing overexploitation and pollution of water as well as progressive climate change are endangering the availability and quality of water in many parts of the world.


According to the United Nations, half the world's population could suffer from water shortages by 2050. We want to ensure that everyone has access to the vital resource of water.

GLS-Bank Bochum

IBAN: DE 53 4306 0967 8040 4160 00


Key Word: Lake Nokoué in Benin


Global Nature Fund (GNF)

Contact person: Ms. Manuela Uhde

Head of Marketing, Finances and Administration

Fritz-Reichle-Ring 4

78315 Radolfzell, Germany

Phone: +49 7732 9995 85

Fax: +49 7732 9995 88



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