The floating school in Lagos

by Iwan Baan

Iraner erzählen von Iran (Ausgabe III/2014)

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Because space and education are in short supply in the slums in the Nigerian capital Lagos, the architect Kunlé Adeyemi designed the “Makoko Floating School”. Photo: Iwan Baan


Makoko is a huge slum that extends in a lagoon of the Nigerian capital Lagos. More than 150,000 people live on the site where entrepreneurs and authorities would like to put skyscrapers. Most of the wooden huts were built by the inhabitants of Makoko with their own hands. They stand on thin wooden pillars and you can only travel from hut to hut by boat. When fish is smoked in the afternoon, the smoke hangs over the roofs.

My good friend, the architect Kunlé Adeyemi, built a floating school with local carpenters and joiners, which is located in front of the slum. It withstands the waves and is a vision of how Makoko could look in the future. On the first floor, one hundred children can be taught. After class, the pupils take their afternoon nap here, while local merchants stop for a break. Ozomeho Fifo (the "floating school") towers above all other buildings in Makoko and symbolises the pride that the people here feel for their home.

As told to by Fabian Ebeling



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