Everything must go - Lagos Waterfronts under Threat View Story | Overview

Everything must go - Lagos Waterfronts under Threat
Lagos/Nigeria February 2017

Otodo Gbame and Makoko are ancient fishing settlements on the shores of Lagos Lagoon. They’ve been there well before modern-day Lagos and existed peacefully for about 150 years.
But now big Business is kicking in. Building ground is scarce in Lagos, and powerful families with strong ties to the government are putting their hands on the prime real estates on the waterfront. The Governor publicly vowed to demolish all ‚informal’ settlements on the shores of Lagos Lagoon. Otodo Gbame has already been demolished despite court orders protecting its residents. Makoko might be the next ancient community to be destroyed for a good business deal. Lagos’ population is rapidly growing – that’s the government’s excuse for demolishing slums and setting up apartment blocks – but these apartments are for the rich only. By evicting communities like Otodo Gbame or Makoko, Lagos State renders tens of thousands homeless and stripes them off their livelihoods.

Everything must go - Lagos Waterfronts under Threat
Lagos/Nigeria February 2017

Otodo Gbame and Makoko are ancient fishing settlements on the shores of Lagos Lagoon. They’ve been there well before modern-day Lagos and existed peacefully for about 150 years.
But now big Business is kicking in. Building ground is scarce in Lagos, and powerful families with strong ties to the government are putting their hands on the prime real estates on the waterfront. The Governor publicly vowed to demolish all ‚informal’ settlements on the shores of Lagos Lagoon. Otodo Gbame has already been demolished despite court orders protecting its residents. Makoko might be the next ancient community to be destroyed for a good business deal. Lagos’ population is rapidly growing – that’s the government’s excuse for demolishing slums and setting up apartment blocks – but these apartments are for the rich only. By evicting communities like Otodo Gbame or Makoko, Lagos State renders tens of thousands homeless and stripes them off their livelihoods.

Makoko - Rush hour in front of one water distribution spot. Water supply is a major problem in the informal settlements.
Makoko - Virginie Fetois (front left), a local trader, struggles with other boats as she tries to make her way through a busy market spot.
A woman smokes fish in front of her home in Makoko, Lagos. Makoko is an ancient fishing community on shores of Lagos Lagoon and grew to an enormous informal settlement of about 150.000 residents in the heart of the city.
Water supply is a problem in all waterfront communities. Women fetch water from the lagoon to clean fish in Otodo Gbame, Lagos. The community has been seen attacked and destroyed by the authorities in March 2017.
A yacht with American expats from Lagos marina is being led by locals through the canals of Makoko.
Makoko - Maria Honfor covers her son in powder to cure skin disease
Drone view across a part of Makoko. Numbers of residents are not very clear, but there may be living 150.00 people in Makoko.
Makoko - Fishermen are casting their nets in Lagos Lagoon
Catch of the day
Israel Anigle fixes his fishing nets in his home in Otodo Gbame, Lagos. His home has been destroyed by local authorities  four weeks later
Asawole Padonu smokes fish in front of her improvised home in Otodo Gbame, Lagos. Her actual house has been destroyed months ago. Four weeks after this photograph, the whole community was destroyed by local authorities.
Makoko - street scene.
One of the floating markets in Makoko. Depending on time and tide, these markets are to be found in different spots every day.
Geminate Hoteyin buys food from a street vendor on the doorstep of her family home in Makoko.
Makoko - Virginie Fetois operates a small drugstore from her canoe. She spends ten hours on the water every day.
Makoko - A woman delivers water to Chairman Jidonu's family. Water supply is a problem in all waterfront communities.
Makoko - street scene. Young men maneuver logs of wood through the canals of Makoko, heading for the sawmills of Oko Baba.
The sawmills of Oko Baba are located right next to Makoko are are meant to be pushed out of the city, too.
Kehinde Akpo, aged 30, is resident from Otodo Gbame. After the attack on his community, he fled to Makoko where relatives lived before. He does not dare to go back to Otodo Gbame and join those who try and rebuild. The machete scar on his chest dates back from another attack on Otodo Gbame some years ago. He's tired now and doesn't know where to go and how to make his living.
A man tries to save wood still good for construction from burned houses in Otodo Gbame community, Lagos.
John Avonda, aged 65, on the ruins of his home in Otodo Gbame in Lagos.  Otodo Gbame is an ancient fishing community on the shores of Lagos lagoon and has been existing peacefully for about 150 years. John Avonda was born there, and so were his parents. The community has been attacked and set alight by thugs in November 2016, and the remaining houses were destroyed by police forces. Otodo Gbame residents suspect neighboring landowners behind this attack.
Nigerian Slum/Informal settlement Federation meeting in Otodo Gbame in Lagos. Delegates from all around Lagos and other districts meet bi-weekly in an office and then spread the information in their communities.
Shehu Akinwunmi, resident of Snake Island, talks at a  meeting of Delegates of Nigerian Slum/Informal settlement Federation in Lagos.
Activists of Nigerian Slum/Informal settlement Federation during a house-innumeration day in Ebute Ilaje, Lagos.
Activists of Nigerian Slum/Informal settlement Federation meet in Ebute Ilaje, Lagos. The community, like many others on the waterfront of Lagos, is under imminent threat of eviction.
Bi-weekly meeting of Delegates of Nigerian Slum/Informal settlement Federation in Lagos.
A hairdresser works in her improvised saloon in Otodo Gbame in Lagos. The community has been attacked and set alight by thugs in November 2016. Residents' attempts to rebuild were stopped by local authorities in March 2017, when the community was forcefully evicted to make way for expensive apartment buildings.
Young men rebuild a house in Otodo Gbame in Lagos. The community has been attacked and set alight by thugs in November 2016. Residents' attempts to rebuild were stopped by local authorities in March 2017, when the community was forcefully evicted to make way for expensive apartment buildings.
Dusk settles over Makoko, and Mosquitos come out. Malaria is still one of the major issues in the community.
Serge Honfo teaches primary school children in a private school in Makoko, Lagos.
Makoko - Misemawu Afosetien takes a nap on a bench in his family home during the hottest time of day.
Building site in Makoko, Lagos.
Children catch fish in shallow water on Otodo Gbame community, Lagos. Newly developed estates can be seen in the background.
Confort Zola Pozalien (2nd from right) negotiates with other traders who buy fish from fishermen on the canals of Makoko.
Makoko - Magdalen Setonji is smoking fish in her house. Sh's wearing old sunglasses to protect her eyes from the biting smoke.
Mackerel being smoked in Otodo Gbame. Traders here don't just rely on local fish, but do buy frozen fish from Europe as there's customer's demand for it.
Makoko - Elizabeth Hunga looks out across the neighborhood while members of her family wait inside  for the hottest hours of the day to pass.
Makoko - street scene. Smoke from fish smoking businesses covers large areas of the community.
Makoko - street scene.  Akonas Zannou sells DVDs from his canoe. He fixed a generator to an old computer monitor and an amplifier with a huge speaker to attract customers and top display his bestselling movies.
Youths dance and sing as a boat with officials from a local church passes by, displaying loud music and religious songs.
Waliu Kahome, a tailor, greets a neighbor from his makeshift workshop and home in Otodo Gbame community in Lagos. His home does not exist anymore since the community has been destroyed by local authorities in March 2017
Traders from Otodo Gbame come back from Markets on lagos Mainland. Transport across the lagoon, using canoes, is their preferred way of transportation.
Moses Adianu looks out across the water in Otodo Gbame, Lagos. Some houses on stilts were spared from the attack in November, nevertheless many owners fled the community for fear of another attack, and their houses are still empty. After a final attack in March 2017, these homes are gone, too.
mail@jescodenzel.com
+49 (0) 163 489 51 55
Jesco Denzel Jesco Denzel