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A Mapping Project Presents a Lifeline for the People of Makoko

Makoko has a diverse and colorful history and was established when fishermen from nearby Togo and the Republic of Benin settled there about a century ago. Like much of Lagos, it is highly multicultural; conversations on the floating slum are usually in a language which is a peculiar medley of Yoruba, French, and Egun, a local dialect. The slum which was initially just a place to fish has grown to be the home for generations of fishermen from neighboring countries. It is hard to tell how many people reside in Makoko as there has never been an official census carried out there, however, locals estimate more than one million. But the Lagos government would prefer that Makoko does not exist. The digital mapping project is going some way to allay the fears of Makoko locals who are worried their land is at risk. Launched in September 2019 by Code for Africa in partnership with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap to create digital maps in a bid to drive social and financial inclusion. Leaders of the project hope the maps will help the government understand the social-economic need of residents in the community.