CATEGORIES: Infrastructure and Others, More

Makoko Floating School – Sustainability in Nigeria

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Behold, Makoko Floating School, a prototype structure that addresses physical and social needs in view of the   growing challenges of climate change in an urbanizing African context.

Sustainable building is a relatively new phenomena in Nigeria and despite obvious benefits many Nigerian’s are not sold. Real estate developer’s including Actis are seeking accreditation from sustainable building organisations like LEED for their developments, however, their motivation for going the green route is arguably not restricted to doing the right thing (environmentally speaking). Multiple marketing benefits and reduced long run operational costs also play a key role. Nonetheless, sustainability is not all about shiny new technology that many of these new commercial developments have. It all comes down to meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In developing countries like Nigeria the opportunity for sustainability is immense as most regions are largely underdeveloped. This could mean entire regions, nodes and even cities can be built meeting sustainable standards. Whereas in more developed nations, fully built up environments mean that existing structures have to be converted, a process which is often very complex.

NLÉ has managed to approach sustainability with a phenomenal idea that was recently realised. As opposed to destroying Makoko, a slum neighborhood constructed on stilts above Lagos Lagoon, this prototype structure embraces Makoko and enhances it by creating even better structures for occupancy. What makes this structure even more amazing is that they are made from recycled floating barrels and locally  sourced  eco-friendly  bamboo  and  wood  procured  from  a  local  sawmill.

The future of this floating school could solve the huge affordable housing/real estate problem that the government has been trying to tackle.  Whilst many may feel the whole region needs to go, it is important to remember that despite Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa, over 60% still live on less than $1 a day. Till this significantly drops these people NEED homes. This prototype provides the strong prospects of affordable real estate/housing in a very sustainable and interesting way; much better than Makoko currently does. A way that can certainly regenerate the slum and even make it an inherent part of Nigeria.  A floating city!

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Makoko – The Possibility Source: NLE
real estate nigeria lagos abuja property news update research
Makoko, The Possibility (Source: NLE)

About Makoko Floating School

It is a movable ‘building’ or watercraft’ currently located in the aquatic community of Makoko in the  lagoon heart of Africa’s second most populous city – Lagos, Nigeria. It adapts to the tidal changes and varying water levels, making it invulnerable to flooding and storm surges. It is designed to use   renewable  energy,  to  recycle  organic  waste  and  to  harvest  rainwater. It  has  a  total  capacity  to  safely   support  a  hundred  adults,  even  in  extreme  weather  conditions.  The  building  has  three  levels.  The  1st  level  is  an  open  play  area  for  school  breaks  and   assembly,  which  also  serves  as  a  community  space  during  after  hours.  The  2nd  level  is  an   enclosed   space   for   two   to   four   classrooms,   providing   enough   space   for   sixty   to   a   hundred  pupils.  A  staircase  on  the  side  connects  the  open  play  area,  the  classrooms  and   a  semi  enclosed  workshop  space  on  the  3rd  level.

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Image Source: NLE
real estate nigeria lagos abuja property news update research
Makoko Floating School (Source: NLE)
real estate nigeria lagos abuja property news update research
Building Materials (Source: NLE)
real estate nigeria lagos abuja property news update research
This solution solves the previous issue of increasing sea water levels

An  estimated  100,000  people  reside  in  Makoko  in  housing  units  built  on  stilts.  Yet  the   community  has  no  roads,  no  land  and  no  formal  infrastructure  to  support  its  day-to-day   survival. Until   now  Makoko   has   been   served   by   one   English   speaking   primary   school,   built   on   uneven  reclaimed  land,  surrounded  by  constantly  changing  waters.    Like  many  homes  in  Makoko,   this   has   rendered   the   primary   school   building   structurally   precarious   and   susceptible   to   recurrent   flooding.   Sadly,   the   inability   of   the   building   to   effectively   withstand  the  impact  of  increased  rainfall  and  flooding  has  frequently  threatened  local   children’s  access  to  their  basic  need  –  the  opportunity  of  education.


  1. This is amazing! Imagine the potentials of the floating community as a tourist attraction in Lagos State.

  2. This is one of the best sites about real estate stuff i have come across in a while and i would whole heartedly love to be a part of it. The information is so up to date and almost accurate!

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