The Lagos State Government has revealed that it plans to build modern houses on Makoko waterfront ghettoes.
Established in the 18th century primarily as a fishing village, much of Makoko rests in structures constructed on stilts above the Lagos Lagoon.
Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Toyin Ayinde disclosed this at a news conference in Ikeja, Lagos on Thursday, May 14, 2015.
The housing scheme will be a replica of Lake Union Seattle, United States of America where houses are built on water in an organised manner.
According to Ayinde, “As a result of this, a lot of unplanned settlements and encroachments on both land and water by these immigrants have become a burden. The houses built on the Lagos Lagoon overtime in the Makoko area continued unabated and soon became worrisome due to the speedy and fast encroachment on this waterway and further extension towards the PHCN high tension cable on the lagoon.
“Consequently, the ministry found it expedient to undertake a study of this development and tagged it ‘Houses on Water’,” he explained.
Ayinde said the benefits of the project were; to improve and enhance the living condition of the residents; to control development on the waterways; to increase the potential of the community economically; to protect the highly valued waterfront against pollution and widespread contamination; to enhance water transportation and to promote tourism.
He added that apart from structures on the water, there would be schools, hospital, bank, shopping mall and fish processing plants to be built on the lagoon.
The commissioner also said that so far, visitation and stakeholders’ engagements had been held with the occupants to secure their support and opinion on the proposed project, saying that the meeting was also intended to build their trust in the state government’s effort and capacity to re-plan their community.
Ayinde also informed reporters that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, in conjunction with the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development, had successfully carried out a survey and collected preliminary information that led to the preparation of two conceptual plans out of which a preferred option was adopted.
“A technical team for the project has been identified while a proposal was presented to the State Executive Council for consideration and approval,” he stated.
Makoko is a slum neighborhood located in Lagos. 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.