Discover Makoko - Nigeria's Floating Slum

in Travel

Nigeria's Makoko slum is a shantytown located in Lagos, Nigeria. Makoko slum is seldom visited by anyone from outside and it is dangerous for strange visitors to go in without guides.

The slum features wooden houses built on water, which is claimed one among the liveliest neighborhoods of the city. The slum’s residents use canoe, boat or some wooden bridges and walkways to travel through the neighborhood. Being established as a fishing village in the 18th century, Makoko’s population is said to be over one thousand people.

Most of Makoko's residents said that their main forms of industry are fishing and wood processing. Therefore, life is very hard for them as their income is not enough to support for their family a better life.


A resident walks on a wooden bridge in Nigeria's Makoko slum

A resident walks on a wooden bridge in Nigeria's Makoko slum


Makoko’s residents live on fishing and wood processing

Makoko’s residents live on fishing and wood processing

According to the United Nations, Makoko is heavily overcrowded. There are up to 14 children living in some homes. The birthrate of the slum quickly increases because their culture is not giving birth to just one or two children but more.


The birthrate of Makoko quickly increases

The birthrate of Makoko quickly increases


Those poor people in the slum have to live in an environment which is so hectic, dark and incredibly smelly

Those poor people in the slum have to live in an poluted environment which is so hectic, dark and incredibly smelly


In order to make a living in the floating slum, many people run beat shops that float through the neighborhood to sell different items from noodles to palm oil.


It is said that you can buy anything in such these boats

It is said that you can buy anything in such these boats

Makoko is known as a self-governed and security forces rarely appear in the slum. The shantytown is defended by what is called “area boys”, which features gangs of unemployed young men who defend their territory by violence.


Therefore, Makoko is a dangerous place to explore alone or without a trusted guide

Therefore, Makoko is a dangerous place to explore alone or without a trusted guide


You can’t find any sewer system in Makoko. All the toilets are made in the way that let everything fall into water beneath their homes. The region also has no running water. The water in the region is black and they have to buy clean water.


The water in the slum is black and murky with pollution

The water in the slum is black and murky with pollution

There are also several schools for young children in Makoko, while the older children attend schools outside the floating slum. However, only ten percent of Makoko’s residents are educated up to primary school.


These children go to school by floating school boats

These children go to school by floating school boats

 

Related links:

Slum Stories: Nigeria Silverbird showtime

Traditional Igbo wedding in Nigeria

Children’s Miserable Life in Poorest Nations

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Vanessa Ford has 386 articles online and 46 fans

Paige Taylor is interested in traveling. She loves to write about beautiful destinations and tourism events.

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Discover Makoko - Nigeria's Floating Slum

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This article was published on 2011/11/11