Living to Row and Grow
Makoko is a slum neighbourhood in Lagos. Established in the 18th century, this community of fishermen rests on structures constructed on stilts above the Lagos Lagoon. At present its population is estimated to be about 85,840 though people in the area were not officially counted during the last national census exercise in 2007 census. Today, the area is essentially a self-governing enclave with very limited government presence in the community and local security being provided by area boys.
Waste management workers (from the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA) working in the area for over 8 months complained that the community is known to dispose waste and faeces in the lagoon right under where they live. This is a major problem in the area today even as some government agencies have tried to stop the menace several times without success.
The children in this community are most vulnerable to infections, cholera, malaria and various life-threatening ailments, year in and out. With an empty local community hospital and very few primary schools around, kids grow up with same lifestyle which is being passed from generation to generation.