- Title: NIGERIA: Architect builds floating school in Nigeria's iconic slum.
- Date: 5th December 2012
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOAH SHEMUREDE, HEAD TEACHER, WHANYINNA NURSERY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL SAYING: "This school was built by some group of white men called Yacht Club, they were the ones that built the school and I volunteered to be a teacher in this school. I called some of my colleagues to help me to assist because this is our community. We know the challenges; the challenge is that the children, the parents, the adults, nobody is educated and now, we want to use that influence to educate the ones that we can do because this is our community, we need to do the one that we can do before the government will come in."
- Embargoed: 20th December 2012 12:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Education,Education
- Reuters ID: LVADG45U2LH3YHI1726WG7C03HBN
- Story Text: This is what is left of Nigeria's Makoko slum following two weeks of intense demolition by the Lagos state government carried out in July that left many homeless.
Known to some as the Venice of Lagos, the 100 year old slum was home to thousands of people whose major source of income is fishing, sand harvesting and timber trading.
Inspired by the need to chart a new path for people who live in water communities, Kunle Adeyemi, an architect based in Nigeria and Amsterdam is constructing a floating school capable of holding 100 students and teachers.
Some residents of the slum who were not affected by the demolition have rallied together to make the floating school a reality.
Materials being used for the construction of the school have been locally sourced by Adeyemi as a means of encouraging local business owners.
The 36-year-old architect started the construction of the floating school two months ago and aims to complete the framework in time for Christmas and finish up the entire project early 2013.
Adeyemi says that he is not worried about any future potential demolition exercise, because through the school construction, he is showing that he can provide a solution to the problem.
"The demolition does not affect our development. We hope our development affect the issues surrounding the demolition, because we are also offering to the state a solution for developing a place like Makoko and other water communities in Lagos state and in other parts of Nigeria," he said.
One of the two schools that exists within the slum is the Whanyinna nursery and primary school.
Established in 2008, it is the first school to have been set up within the fishing community.
The school offers free education to over 170 children.
"I like.... they teach us very well, they teach us hard work, they teach us," said pupil David Awhanjogbe.
Head teacher Noah Shemurede said Makoko students are eager to learn despite the lack of infrastructure and school material, adding that more learning facilities in the settlement are needed.
"This school was built by some group of white men called Yacht Club, they were the ones that built the school and I volunteered to be a teacher in this school, I called some of my colleagues to help me to assist because this is our community. We know the challenges; the challenge is that the children, the parents, the adults, nobody is educated and now, we want to use that influence to educate the ones that we can do because this is our community, we need to do the one that we can do before the government will come in," he said.
Adeyemi says that through the construction of the school, he hopes to train members of the local community to replicate similar initiatives throughout out the slum.
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