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Informal Settlement
Okoh collins photography landscape shots all over Nigeria.jpg
Makoko is located in Nigeria
Coordinates: 6°29′44″N 3°23′39″E / 6.49556°N 3.39417°E / 6.49556; 3.39417Coordinates: 6°29′44″N 3°23′39″E / 6.49556°N 3.39417°E / 6.49556; 3.39417
StateLagos State
LGALagos Mainland
Settled19th century
 • Total85,840
Time zoneUTC+1

Makoko is an informal settlement across the 3rd Mainland Bridge located on the coast of mainland Lagos. A third of the community is built on stilts along the lagoon and the rest is on the land. The waterfront part of the community is largely harboured by the Egun people who migrated from Badagary and Republic of Benin and whose main occupation is fishing.

Makoko is sometimes referred to as the "Venice of Africa" owing to its waterways.[1] Its population is considered to be 85,840; however, the area was not officially counted as part of the 2007 census and the population has been estimated to be much higher.[2] In July 2012, the Lagos State government ordered that some of the stilts beyond the power-lines be brought down without proper notice. This led to the destruction of several stilts on the Iwaya/Makoko waterfront and many families were rendered homeless.[3]


Makoko: A girl and her sister in a canoe
Boys paddling a canoe is a common view at Makoko

Established in the 19th century, much of Makoko rests in structures constructed on stilts above Lagos Lagoon.[2][4] Makoko is a neighbouring community to Iwaya on the waterfront and Oko Baba.[5]

The name Makoko is literally translated from Yoruba to be "Pick Akoko". In Yoruba tradition "Akoko" leaves are used to aid fertility and also used during Chieftancy coronation, present day Makoko had the leaf growing in abundance

In July 2012, Lagos State government under the governorship of Babatunde Fashola ordered that the stilts on the Iwaya/Makoko waterfront be demolished and dozens of stilts were demolished within 72 hours of notice to the residents. Nearly 3,000 people lost their homes to the demolition exercise.[3][6][7][8] Two months after the partial demolition, a Serac housing affiliate known as the Urban Spaces Innovation developed a regeneration plan for Makoko that would bring the community together with academics, non-profits, and international consultants. The plan was submitted to the Lagos State Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning in January 2014.[8]


Makoko auf dem Wasser (5208472599).jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Soni Methu (24 December 2014). "Postcards from home: documenting Nigeria's floating community". CNN. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b This Day (1 May 2009). "Makoko Residents And Their Unwanted Guest". Africa News.
  3. ^ a b "Destroying Makoko". The Economist. 18 August 2012.
  4. ^ Cohen, Roger (20 July 1998). "Nigerian Slum's Filth Is a World Away From Capital's Glitter". The New York Times.
  5. ^ UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (5 September 2006). "Lagos, the mega-city of slums". Africa News. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Lagos Makoko slums knocked down in Nigeria". BBC. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Nigeria: Day After Makoko and Abonema - Frustration of a Homeless Nation". Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  8. ^ a b Tolu Ogunlesi, "Inside Makoko: danger and ingenuity in the world's biggest floating slum", The Guardian, 23 February 2016.

External links[edit]

Makoko:the "Floating Town" of Lagos, Nigeria:An entire town on stilts:video