Photos: Inside Makoko, Nigeria’s Venice

Editor’s note: Minnesota Public Radio’s Nate Minor is spending two weeks on a reporting fellowship in Nigeria as part of a program to study and become involved in journalism as it is practiced in other countries.

LAGOS, Nigeria — Before this city became what it is today — a monstrous destination that’s probably more than twice as large as New York City (depending on which survey you believe) — a neighborhood between the mainland and the posh Victoria Island started spreading into the sea. That was more than 100 years ago.

Now, at least 85,000 Lagosians live in Makoko. They still make their living from fishing, much as their ancestors did. But Lagos authorities are trying to evict residents from the area, citing health concerns among other reasons. A letter served to residents last year said that illegal buildings in Makoko were an “environmental nuisance, security risk and an impediment to the economic and gainful utilisation of the waterfront” and undermined the “megacity status” of Lagos.


• The New Yorker’s essential profile of the city from 2006

A BBC documentary from 2010

Find more photographs and dispatches from Nigeria on Nate Minor’s website.