past work: nigeria: makoko
Makoko, a sprawling slum built on stilts within one of the most populous cities in Africa, where simple wood shacks serve as homes, churches and schools and the only transport is by canoe. Children easily navigate along narrow planks of wood over polluted waters while helping their families with the mornings catch. Makoko serves as a major source of fish in the district but has no access to regular electricity or proper sanitation. Many of the people who call Makoko home come from fishing villages along the coast looking for a better life but find that this is the only home Lagos has to offer.
But the Nigerian government has made it clear that the settlement is unwanted and many attempts to raze the area have been made in the past, most recently in July 2012 when residents were given three days notice with no compensation or relocation options. Governor Babatunde Fashola stated that the proposed demolition was to prepare Lagos for a projected population of 40 million in the coming years. Authorities demolished 20% of the settlement leaving 3000 people without homes. The demolition has halted for now but many residents fear that authorities will return and raze the rest of the settlement which holds a population of close to 100,000 people.