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Forced evictions on the waterfronts of Lagos

Alexander Macfarlane | Nigeria

The waterfronts of Lagos are under constant threat of eviction due to skyrocketing land prices and rising population.

In Lagos, an estimated two thirds of the city's 23 million inhabitants live in informal settlements, where a lack of security of tenure is a defining characteristic. Without it, residents live in constant fear of eviction.

Skyrocketing growth has led to conflicts over land, often resulting in violent attacks on the poor communities and a continued threat of mass evicitons of the urban poor across the city.

In November 2016, more than 30,000 residents lost their homes when they were forcibly evicted from their fishing community of Otodo Gbame. Eyewitness told how the community was set ablaze and the police entered shooting at residents, forcing them to flee to the water.

Since then the Lagos High Court ruled the evictions unlawful, and residents began to rebuild, though violent demolitions have continued.

These images document the community of Otodo Gbame following the first evicitons, and Sogunro, another waterfront community that absorbed many of the evictees.

The waterfront communities of Lagos continue the struggle against forced evicitons that cause victims to become refugees in their own city.

The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL

JEI (Justice and Empowerment Initiatives)

Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation

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