Makoko with its dirty water predicament should be the face of Lagos. As the Center of excellence, everybody wants to live in Lagos despite the crazy traffic, hustle and bustle. Behind the skyscrapers and huge shopping malls however is a community just opposite the third mainland bridge that lives on dirty water. Theirs is a situation that begs for attention.
Makoko is no ordinary neighborhood of Lagos. Most houses in the slum dwelling rest on wooden stilts in the Lagos Lagoon. That’s perhaps why some call it the “Venice of Africa.” But there’s a paradox at play: while Makoko thrives on water, residents lack access to safe drinking water. Makoko used to be a small fishing village before it grew into the urban settlement that it is today.
Many of Makoko’s inhabitants are from neighbouring Benin and Togo. Most of them have lived in for decades. An average of eight people live in each house which sustains itself on fishing or collecting wood from the lagoon. Makoko’s biggest challenge is its dirty water. The water in the community is highly polluted. Residents of Makoko therefore, lack access to clean and safe drinking water. It’s routine in the community for one family member (mostly the girls and women) to queue up at local water kiosks to fetch their daily supply of water. On an average, each family in Makoko spends around 5000 naira each month on borehole water.
Diseases like typhoid, malaria, diarrhoea and cholera are rampant in the community because of the poor access to clean water. But it’s not just the dirty water predicament that creates health complications. Makoko lacks drainage and sanitation. Domestic sewage from the slums is let straight into the surroundings increasing the risk of infectious diseases among inhabitants.
The Lack of education among its inhabitants further worsens the problem. They believe the water is clean and will even cook with it. It was a very moving sight as Davina Diaries Word on the street visited Makoko. The Lagos state government definitely has a big role to play. There is the need to create more awareness to improve the situation and help the people. We bring to you in this video Makoko as it really is.