Nigeria floats idea for life on the water

Source: The Guardian

Climate change and population growth is making Lagos planners think more about exploiting its waters, but will it mean people living on the water will be moved on?

For generations, the people of Makoko have lived in houses perched on stilts above the lagoon that prompted Portuguese colonialists to christen this city Lagos centuries ago. Residents navigate dugout canoes through a maze of brown waterways that spread far beneath the longest bridge in Africa, which connects the creek-filled islands of Lagos with its crowded mainland.

Some see the community balanced on water as an engineering feat that is almost as impressive as the bridge that passes by it, albeit less planned. An estimated 250,000 people live in Makoko; they trade, shop and build aquafarms on the lagoon’s waters.

“Like everybody passing over [Lagos city’s] Third Mainland Bridge, I became interested in Makoko,” said Kunle Adeyemi, a Nigerian architect who is based in the waterside city of Amsterdam. While Makoko is largely self-sufficient, the entire community is served by a single primary school. Adeyemi’s visit to the area in 2009 gave him the idea of building a floating settlement – starting with a floating school (video).

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