Residents Of This Floating Slum In Nigeria Are Facing Eviction From Government Thugs Wielding Machetes

Lagos is a huge city, with 21 million people bustling against each other within cramped quarters.

Such a big city has led to some improvised living situations, with almost 70 per cent of residents living in slums such as the floating neighbourhood of Makoko, where almost 100,000 people are thought to live in quasi-legal circumstances. For over a hundred years the slums have created a life independent of mainland Lagos, with their own schools and hospitals.

Now there are signs that the Nigerian government wants them out. Lagos officials have told the BBC that those living in the slums must leave — and last week a number of men in speedboats with machetes entered the slums and hacked down the stilts that were used to support the make-shift homes. The AP reports that the attack left at least 3,000 homeless.

Residents fear that all of the slum will eventually be evicted, and tension has led to violence. Police officers reportedly shot dead a local community leader on Saturday.

Makoko Nigeria

Photo: Flickr: boellstiftung

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