A City Makeover
By Kizzi Asala with AP
Yellow, red, green… this is the new face of the town of Abobo after the operation “Abobo ê zo,” which means “Abobo is pretty!”
Link: https://t.co/IhPyxML2aY— Chuck Hamilton #FuckThePolice (@natty4bumpo) September 13, 2020
An operation initiated by the town hall and financed by private and public companies from Côte d’Ivoire. More than a hundred craftspeople were mobilised on the life-size building site.
Namory Dosso, team leader of painting decorations; explained part of the colourful process, “We started out by restoring the site. First, it’s about making an impression. The impression is to take from the colour white. After printing, we took the time to choose the colours with our managers and that’s what you see, the colour yellow here.”
Uplifting a Community
The aim of this vast operation is to give a breath of fresh air and offer a healthy environment to the inhabitants of the most populated commune in Ivory Coast.
Fatou Tandjan, Abobo Ezo project manager, explained the thinking behind some of the project decisions, “We are in a commune which is quite disadvantaged and which also has a reputation which is not always very positive, so we wanted to start by visually changing the appearance of the commune of Abobo. For example, the site we are on was a garage, so it was full of vehicles, full of lorries, it was a bit of a nuisance, it was really not very clean. It wasn’t easy to make people understand that they had to leave the space. But today I think everyone can see the result.”
More than 269 buildings have been refurbished to transform the downtrodden commune whose backdrop was a visual reminder of 2010 post-election crisis violence. The project – launched on July 2nd, took two months to cover an area of almost 500,000 m2.
A New Normal
Alassane Mande, resident of Abobo, sounds happy about the changes, “Yesterday it was Abobo the war ground, today people say abobo the peaceful and pretty. We hope it stays like this and that the community can maintain it forever. ”
Further sanitation and rehabilitation work is in view and the abobolese façades have also become an apprenticeship field for about a hundred young people in the decoration and painting trades.