2018 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, Singles, 1st prize

Lagos Waterfronts under Threat

Photographer

Jesco Denzel

24 February, 2017

A boat with tourists from Lagos Marina is steered through the canals of the Makoko community—an ancient fishing village that has grown into an enormous informal settlement—on the shores of Lagos Lagoon, Lagos, Nigeria.

Makoko has a population of around 150,000 people, many of whose families have been there for generations. But Lagos is growing rapidly, and ground to build on is in high demand. Prime real estate along the lagoon waterfront is scarce, and there are moves to demolish communities such as Makoko and build apartment blocks: accommodation for the wealthy. Because the government considers the communities to be informal settlements, people may be evicted without provision of more housing. Displacement from the waterfront also deprives them of their livelihoods. The government denies that the settlements have been inhabited for generations and has given various reasons for evictions, including saying that the communities are hideouts for criminals. Court rulings against the government in 2017 declared the evictions unconstitutional and that residents should be compensated and rehoused, but the issue remains unresolved.

About

Jesco Denzel

He left Hamburg University with a degree in political science and geography in 2001. In 2002 he went on to study photojournalism at Hannover University of Applied Sciences and st...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/200
Focal length
35.0 mm
F-Stop
4.5
ISO
125

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