What is the most chaotic place on Earth? It has got to be Cotonou due to it’s 150 000 zemidjans in a city of one million people. And what is a zemidjan? It is a moto taxi usually driving recklessly and a profession for approximately every sixth or seventh person living in Cotonou. Zemis are also the source of massive amounts of exhaust gas in a city known to be one of the most poluted ones in West Africa. Not to mention the cause of death for numerous drivers and passengers every year (I‘ve never seen a zemi driver or a passenger wear a helmet in Benin, except for a few people that looked like American voluntary workers).

Busy streets and grey air of Cotonou by Jen

But guess what? The townhall of Cotonou has announced a new public transport system to be launched in the city in 2012. It will comprise 52 buses and over 200 bus stops. If this is really taking place, the buses will surely reduce the amount of zemidjans and their negative consequences in the city. The air in the city will hopefully be less grey and it’s habitants a little bit healthier.

But then again, how to find new jobs for the zemi drivers that will lose their clients to the buses?

More about this topic on Adjinakou (in French).

The get an idea about the traffic in Cotonou, take a look at the video on this blog.