Makoko village (the name means fishing village) is in Nigeria and always flooded. People generally just drive past the area and rarely bother to stop, as it is a very poor area.
With the water pollution and other environmental problems, the death rate is high in this area.
Most families comprise of at least 4 children and many of these barely go to school. But Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi, who also usually just drove by, did stop one day.
He stood and looked at all the homes built on stilts and the many children who traveled around in canoes.
Kunle had a vision of a school for the children, but not on stilts as all the homes; he was thinking of a floating school.
The floating school has become a reality due to his design of a floating platform of over 250 floating plastic drums.
The school is three story with solar panels on the roof to supply power, a recreational area on the ground floor and two levels of classrooms. It even has toilets which is exceptionally unusual in this area. It is able to offer education to around 100 students at a time.
Kunle is not stopping just with the school. He has dreams that may well become a reality of floating homes built as real communities.
He does not want the residents of this area to lose their homes as is the plan of some local officials. They want to destroy all the homes on stilts as they feel they are not fit for human habitation.
But what would happen to the people of Makoko then? And other places like them in Nigeria?
Al least Kunle is first giving a chance to the children of Kunle Adeyem to receive an education, rather than to be some of the 7 million children in Nigeria who do not.
And from this ambitious project, maybe people will no longer drive past Makoko, but take the time to stop and look at the new floating community.
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