Togo Phosphate Kpalime, Togo West Africa Monday, March 19, 2007
I am about 50 miles north of Lome, Togo, or maybe 80 kilometers. I am becoming increasing interested in some type of mineral, rock, or something I am seeing here.
A Lady in Kpalime, working on rocks or making pellets.
There is this gray colored, chalk like substance they are molding into large round pellets.
In the Encarta Encyclopedia it says, - Togo is a leading producer of phosphates, which are by far the country’s most significant mineral product. In 2004, 400,000 metric tons of phosphate rock were mined. -
I was told this man from Italia was buying something for matches. I have read a lot of information now about Phosphorous and Phosphate, not easy to understand. Last time I was in Africa, I seen the same substance, they called it Cal or Koala or something like that, I am hoping this time around I can do better at understanding what these pellets of chalk rock substance are and why they are making pellets. I cannot think of a reason for the pellets, I can see a reason for phosphate or phosphorous, however more of a industrial commercial product and not something I would think people would sit around working with hammers and other tools.
As I walk down the hill from my Hotel towards the market, there are about five different smaller building where they are banging away at this substance.
It is sometimes almost beyond my ability to bear, how to satisfy my curiosity and learn. This is something important I believe to Togo, I will slowly try to unravel this mystery. How long?
I think it will take me close to five days, and maybe longer to learn what this substance maybe is, and then I cannot be sure. It can be tiresome to ask again and again in different manners and ways. People do not like to answer questions when the person listening cannot understand. The workers probably speak Mina or Ewe or whatever the local language is that dominates Kpalime. This means I need to find a person who speaks exceptional French, or English and for some reason knows about this substance.
Just because something I minded, produced, used in an area does not mean anyone truly understand. People often know less about their own backyards, then the mans across the street. My French / English dictionary in the computer does not have a translation for Phosphate or Phosphorous.
The say, when I asked - Calibah or Argil -
I have no idea if French, Mina, Ewe or Ashanti language. My guess is Phosphate