Across the Third Mainland Bridge is the coast of Lagos where a community of 200,000 people lives on houses built on stilts along the lagoon called Makoko. Also referred to as the perfect nightmare, a slum in full view, spread out beneath the most travelled bridge in West Africaʼs megalopolis; yet most Lagosians have perhaps never been to Makoko as doing so carries much risk.
Life expectancy in these squatter settlements is extremely low; under 40. According to NGO WaterAid, like an estimated 63 million others in Nigeria, residents here lack access to safe drinking water. Similarly to 111 million people in the country, many are exposed to poor sanitation. Fishing is the biggest industry in Makoko and residents are constantly exposed to the marshy waters that are teaming with mosquitos. This deadly combination can lead to cholera, malaria and many other deadly diseases. But a lack of local government funds to provide good infrastructure and healthcare means a staggering 97,000 children die each year in Nigeria from diarrhoea alone.
On a mission to change, impact and empower Nigeria the lionhearted Pastor Tobi Adegboyega has created a N500Milion fund contributing towards regenerating the Makoko. His plan is to help feed the community, support widows, the elderly, impoverished families, terror victims and empowering local schools. Through his SPAC Initiative foundation, N1Million will be made available to build boreholes that will provide running clean water for thousands in the community.
Pastor Tobi Adegboyega has created 5,000 jobs in Lagos. This is yet another step towards making life in Lagos even better for its residents. This project will see Makoko residents have a more safe and sustainable working environment and expose them to alternative pathways other than fishing.
Pastor Tobi Adegboyega aims to install hope into the hearts of the youth by providing economic security and social mobility to millions of promising young men and women in Lagos and beyond. Nigeria is full of young bright minds who are pivotal to the rebuilding of the country and the continent of Africa. However, this work begins by investing in young people and creating opportunities for local communities; a template that has worked extensively in London and can be replicated across Africa, from Lagos and beyond.
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Author: Joanna Kelly-Ochiagha
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