Thousands of families living on the murky waters of Makoko slum in Lagos fight for survival on a sea of festering filth, in constant fear having their homes demolished. But in the midst of this despair, an architect, Kunle Adeyemi hopes to bring some light. He plans to build a three-storeyed school out of 16 floating platforms lashed together, capable of holding 100 students and teachers in the iconic slum.
Mr. Adeyemi, who works both in Lagos and in Amsterdam, Holland, says the project involves building the platforms out of locally sourced wood and empty plastic drums, then using wooded beams to build a structure that would have a common area for children to play on as its base, with two floors for classrooms above it. The building would also include bathroom facilities, something lacking in a slum where most relieve themselves by hovering over the water.
“If the people don’t live here, they’ll live somewhere else. What we’re only trying to do is offer them a better solution,” he notes.
The school project will cost about $6,250, and has received support from international groups and government officials. One of which is Heinrich Boell Stiftung which is partnering with Mr Adeyemi’s company NLÉ to make it a reality.
The Heinrich Boell Stiftung and its partner organisation, NLÉ, led by the Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi, believe that people will cope better with the risks of erosion and flooding if they incorporate the water into their daily life instead of trying to dominate it.
Mr Adeyemi hopes that the floating school project would make the area less of an eyesore and would rid it of the constant smell of smoke and decay.
The architect also added that “Particularly in view of climate change, there’s a need to adapt buildings. We decided to use this as a prototype for developing something whether the water level rises or goes down, the building responds to that."
Check out the pictures of the prototype of the floating school below: