Floating schools proposed for Lagos water slum

A floating three-storey school has been proposed for the Lagos waterfront shantytown Makoko by Nigerian urban architect Kunlé Adeyemi, whose plans would see the school constructed out of 16 floating platforms and capable of hosting 100 students.

Behind the plans are Adeyemi’s Amsterdam-based firm NLÉ and global environmental organisation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Adeyemi believes that if successful the building could be replicated into homes for the more than 100,000 residents of the impoverished slum, and claims his plans have received initial soundings of approval from government authorities.

The structure would be constructed from locally-sourced wood and empty plastic drums, and Adeyami estimates it would cost about $6,250 to complete. The project would comprise two classrooms, a common play area for children as well as compost toilets – a non-existent facility in the vast slum.

Adeyami believes that the school and similar projects would address issues such as hygiene and flooding, and could also improve the visual aesthetic of Makoko which is visible from the city's Third Mainland Bridge.

Most residents of Makoko scrape a living from fishing and working in nearby saw mills. Some of the district's ramshackle huts on stilts were recently torn down by state government officials, leaving about 3,000 people homeless.