Sogunro is one of the six "villages" that make up the larger Makoko area. The community is one of many waterfront settlements, and is spread across land and water

Sogunro is one of the six "villages" that make up the larger Makoko area. The community is one of many waterfront settlements, and is spread across land and water

 Makoko, was formed as a fishing village in the 19th Century.  It is one of many waterfront communities in Lagos that live with a constant threat of eviction due to land-grabbing by the Lagos government.

Makoko, was formed as a fishing village in the 19th Century.

It is one of many waterfront communities in Lagos that live with a constant threat of eviction due to land-grabbing by the Lagos government.

 Boats offer the most useful form of transport around the maze of waterway 'roads' that connect the community.

Boats offer the most useful form of transport around the maze of waterway 'roads' that connect the community.

 An estimated 2,000 people enter Lagos every day, many ending up in informal settlements like Sogunro.

An estimated 2,000 people enter Lagos every day, many ending up in informal settlements like Sogunro.

 As the population grew, and land ran out, the community began to build into the water. New houses continue to grow.

As the population grew, and land ran out, the community began to build into the water. New houses continue to grow.

 Sogunro, like many of the other waterfront settlements of Lagos, is primarily populated by the Egun ethnic group that originate in the south eastern parts of Nigeria, as well as in neighbouring Benin.

Sogunro, like many of the other waterfront settlements of Lagos, is primarily populated by the Egun ethnic group that originate in the south eastern parts of Nigeria, as well as in neighbouring Benin.

IMG_8928.jpg
 Fishing remains one of the main sources of livelihood for members of the community. Fishermen work in the lagoon with the Third Mainland Bridge in the background - the 2nd longest bridge in Africa.

Fishing remains one of the main sources of livelihood for members of the community. Fishermen work in the lagoon with the Third Mainland Bridge in the background - the 2nd longest bridge in Africa.

 Fishing remains one of the main sources of livelihood for members of the community. Fishermen work in the lagoon with the Third Mainland Bridge in the background - the 2nd longest bridge in Africa.

Fishing remains one of the main sources of livelihood for members of the community. Fishermen work in the lagoon with the Third Mainland Bridge in the background - the 2nd longest bridge in Africa.

 Along with fishing, sand dredging and timber are other major sources of livelihood - this child works on fixing his net.

Along with fishing, sand dredging and timber are other major sources of livelihood - this child works on fixing his net.

 Any floating vessel can provide an innovative commute to school.

Any floating vessel can provide an innovative commute to school.

IMG_8688.jpg
 Rubbish litters the waterways where children play and families live. Much of the rubbish is collected an used as an innovative foundation for land reclamation.

Rubbish litters the waterways where children play and families live. Much of the rubbish is collected an used as an innovative foundation for land reclamation.

 While some of the community is on such land, the vast majority sits on water. Much of the community reside on stilted houses, whose only access by boat.

While some of the community is on such land, the vast majority sits on water. Much of the community reside on stilted houses, whose only access by boat.

IMG_8643 copy.jpg
 The busy waterways criss-cross the community.

The busy waterways criss-cross the community.

 With limited space on land, the vast community has built into the water. Following the mass evictions of another waterfront Egun community, Otodo Gbame, the population of Sogunro swelled as many evictees were accomodated.

With limited space on land, the vast community has built into the water. Following the mass evictions of another waterfront Egun community, Otodo Gbame, the population of Sogunro swelled as many evictees were accomodated.

 Agbojete Johnson is the Baale, or 'King', of Sogunro. He was instrumental in sending boats to Otodo Gbame to collect evictees and bring them to Sogunro.  "It was terrible", he recounts, "the people really suffered. Even as big as this community is, there is no government hospital. They don't care about us."

Agbojete Johnson is the Baale, or 'King', of Sogunro. He was instrumental in sending boats to Otodo Gbame to collect evictees and bring them to Sogunro.

"It was terrible", he recounts, "the people really suffered. Even as big as this community is, there is no government hospital. They don't care about us."

 Janet Azindji accommodated twenty people from Otodo Gbame, including eight children.

Janet Azindji accommodated twenty people from Otodo Gbame, including eight children.

 One of the evictees taken in by Janet is Veronica Agbogla. Veronica was blinded by the fires that were lit during the brutal evictions. "I lost my house, all my property, and everything I have laboured for".

One of the evictees taken in by Janet is Veronica Agbogla. Veronica was blinded by the fires that were lit during the brutal evictions. "I lost my house, all my property, and everything I have laboured for".

 Veronica is now squatting at Janet's home, but cannot locate the rest of her family.

Veronica is now squatting at Janet's home, but cannot locate the rest of her family.

IMG_8585.jpg
IMG_8943.jpg
 Elenu Dossa, a refugee from Otodo Gbame, remembers being attacked by hoodlums who set the community on fire, shooting sporadically. She says that "now there are too many people living in the rooms where I am squatting.  This has caused high temperatures and most of the children are ill. We want the government to help us return home, and to rebuild our houses".

Elenu Dossa, a refugee from Otodo Gbame, remembers being attacked by hoodlums who set the community on fire, shooting sporadically. She says that "now there are too many people living in the rooms where I am squatting.

This has caused high temperatures and most of the children are ill. We want the government to help us return home, and to rebuild our houses".

 Paul Gandotoho (right), a community chief in the community, and Agban Aplanti (centre), a community elder discuss the evictions in Otodo Gbame.

Paul Gandotoho (right), a community chief in the community, and Agban Aplanti (centre), a community elder discuss the evictions in Otodo Gbame.

 As well as being a community chief, Paul Gandotoho is a tailor who took in some of the displaced people from Otodo Gbame.

As well as being a community chief, Paul Gandotoho is a tailor who took in some of the displaced people from Otodo Gbame.

 Agban Aplanti, a community elder.

Agban Aplanti, a community elder.

 Esinsu Francis was evicted after the demolitions in Otodo Gbame. He moved to Sogunro to rent a room for himself, his wife and three children. He was able to save two or three sewing machines for his wife who is a tailor.

Esinsu Francis was evicted after the demolitions in Otodo Gbame. He moved to Sogunro to rent a room for himself, his wife and three children. He was able to save two or three sewing machines for his wife who is a tailor.

 Alice Kiki was forced to move to Sogunro following the evictions in Otodo Gbame.

Alice Kiki was forced to move to Sogunro following the evictions in Otodo Gbame.

 Gerard Avlessi is a community leader in Sogunro. He is also a member of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation, and has been involved in Federation activities for the last few years.  He and a few others have been leading the outreach to other Egun communities in Cotonou, Benin.

Gerard Avlessi is a community leader in Sogunro. He is also a member of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation, and has been involved in Federation activities for the last few years.

He and a few others have been leading the outreach to other Egun communities in Cotonou, Benin.

 Gerard owns and runs a tailoring school in Sogunro.

Gerard owns and runs a tailoring school in Sogunro.

IMG_8694.jpg
 Gerard teaches tailoring to a number of young apprentices.

Gerard teaches tailoring to a number of young apprentices.

IMG_8590.jpg
 Some of the apprentices are also members of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation. One of the many tasks being undertaken by the Federation is to profile the communities.  Community profiling, mapping and enumerations gather data that can be used to identify our needs and urban planning solutions.

Some of the apprentices are also members of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation. One of the many tasks being undertaken by the Federation is to profile the communities.

Community profiling, mapping and enumerations gather data that can be used to identify our needs and urban planning solutions.

 This fisherman is from the community, and lives close to Gerard. He invited his sister, who had lived in Otodo Gbame during the evictions, to come and stay with him when her house was demolished.

This fisherman is from the community, and lives close to Gerard. He invited his sister, who had lived in Otodo Gbame during the evictions, to come and stay with him when her house was demolished.

 Gerard's son.

Gerard's son.

  Victoria Amsu is a tailor from Otodo Gbame. After the evictions she moved to Sogunro. Her house was burnt along with her working tools and wasn’t allowed to go back to pick anything up before her house was set ablaze.

Victoria Amsu is a tailor from Otodo Gbame. After the evictions she moved to Sogunro. Her house was burnt along with her working tools and wasn’t allowed to go back to pick anything up before her house was set ablaze.

IMG_8919.jpg
 Many evictees have begun to return, though the rising cost of land on the waterfronts of Lagos remain a continued threat for Sogunro as well as Otodo Gbame and many others.

Many evictees have begun to return, though the rising cost of land on the waterfronts of Lagos remain a continued threat for Sogunro as well as Otodo Gbame and many others.

 The Lagos government is intent on reinventing the city as modern and forward-looking, though the sprawling Makoko community, of which Sogunro is part, lies in full visibility to those who cross the Third Mainland Bridge to do business on Lagos island.  The community is seen by those city planners as an 'embarrassment', posing a great threat to the future of the community.

The Lagos government is intent on reinventing the city as modern and forward-looking, though the sprawling Makoko community, of which Sogunro is part, lies in full visibility to those who cross the Third Mainland Bridge to do business on Lagos island.

The community is seen by those city planners as an 'embarrassment', posing a great threat to the future of the community.

 While many evictees from Otodo Gbame have begun returning to rebuild their community, the future of all waterfront settlements in Lagos is faced with uncertainty. With security of tenure lacking, what can be done to ensure thousands more residents don't become refugees in their own city?

While many evictees from Otodo Gbame have begun returning to rebuild their community, the future of all waterfront settlements in Lagos is faced with uncertainty. With security of tenure lacking, what can be done to ensure thousands more residents don't become refugees in their own city?

 Sogunro is one of the six "villages" that make up the larger Makoko area. The community is one of many waterfront settlements, and is spread across land and water
 Makoko, was formed as a fishing village in the 19th Century.  It is one of many waterfront communities in Lagos that live with a constant threat of eviction due to land-grabbing by the Lagos government.
 Boats offer the most useful form of transport around the maze of waterway 'roads' that connect the community.
 An estimated 2,000 people enter Lagos every day, many ending up in informal settlements like Sogunro.
 As the population grew, and land ran out, the community began to build into the water. New houses continue to grow.
 Sogunro, like many of the other waterfront settlements of Lagos, is primarily populated by the Egun ethnic group that originate in the south eastern parts of Nigeria, as well as in neighbouring Benin.
IMG_8928.jpg
 Fishing remains one of the main sources of livelihood for members of the community. Fishermen work in the lagoon with the Third Mainland Bridge in the background - the 2nd longest bridge in Africa.
 Fishing remains one of the main sources of livelihood for members of the community. Fishermen work in the lagoon with the Third Mainland Bridge in the background - the 2nd longest bridge in Africa.
 Along with fishing, sand dredging and timber are other major sources of livelihood - this child works on fixing his net.
 Any floating vessel can provide an innovative commute to school.
IMG_8688.jpg
 Rubbish litters the waterways where children play and families live. Much of the rubbish is collected an used as an innovative foundation for land reclamation.
 While some of the community is on such land, the vast majority sits on water. Much of the community reside on stilted houses, whose only access by boat.
IMG_8643 copy.jpg
 The busy waterways criss-cross the community.
 With limited space on land, the vast community has built into the water. Following the mass evictions of another waterfront Egun community, Otodo Gbame, the population of Sogunro swelled as many evictees were accomodated.
 Agbojete Johnson is the Baale, or 'King', of Sogunro. He was instrumental in sending boats to Otodo Gbame to collect evictees and bring them to Sogunro.  "It was terrible", he recounts, "the people really suffered. Even as big as this community is, there is no government hospital. They don't care about us."
 Janet Azindji accommodated twenty people from Otodo Gbame, including eight children.
 One of the evictees taken in by Janet is Veronica Agbogla. Veronica was blinded by the fires that were lit during the brutal evictions. "I lost my house, all my property, and everything I have laboured for".
 Veronica is now squatting at Janet's home, but cannot locate the rest of her family.
IMG_8585.jpg
IMG_8943.jpg
 Elenu Dossa, a refugee from Otodo Gbame, remembers being attacked by hoodlums who set the community on fire, shooting sporadically. She says that "now there are too many people living in the rooms where I am squatting.  This has caused high temperatures and most of the children are ill. We want the government to help us return home, and to rebuild our houses".
 Paul Gandotoho (right), a community chief in the community, and Agban Aplanti (centre), a community elder discuss the evictions in Otodo Gbame.
 As well as being a community chief, Paul Gandotoho is a tailor who took in some of the displaced people from Otodo Gbame.
 Agban Aplanti, a community elder.
 Esinsu Francis was evicted after the demolitions in Otodo Gbame. He moved to Sogunro to rent a room for himself, his wife and three children. He was able to save two or three sewing machines for his wife who is a tailor.
 Alice Kiki was forced to move to Sogunro following the evictions in Otodo Gbame.
 Gerard Avlessi is a community leader in Sogunro. He is also a member of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation, and has been involved in Federation activities for the last few years.  He and a few others have been leading the outreach to other Egun communities in Cotonou, Benin.
 Gerard owns and runs a tailoring school in Sogunro.
IMG_8694.jpg
 Gerard teaches tailoring to a number of young apprentices.
IMG_8590.jpg
 Some of the apprentices are also members of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation. One of the many tasks being undertaken by the Federation is to profile the communities.  Community profiling, mapping and enumerations gather data that can be used to identify our needs and urban planning solutions.
 This fisherman is from the community, and lives close to Gerard. He invited his sister, who had lived in Otodo Gbame during the evictions, to come and stay with him when her house was demolished.
 Gerard's son.
  Victoria Amsu is a tailor from Otodo Gbame. After the evictions she moved to Sogunro. Her house was burnt along with her working tools and wasn’t allowed to go back to pick anything up before her house was set ablaze.
IMG_8919.jpg
 Many evictees have begun to return, though the rising cost of land on the waterfronts of Lagos remain a continued threat for Sogunro as well as Otodo Gbame and many others.
 The Lagos government is intent on reinventing the city as modern and forward-looking, though the sprawling Makoko community, of which Sogunro is part, lies in full visibility to those who cross the Third Mainland Bridge to do business on Lagos island.  The community is seen by those city planners as an 'embarrassment', posing a great threat to the future of the community.
 While many evictees from Otodo Gbame have begun returning to rebuild their community, the future of all waterfront settlements in Lagos is faced with uncertainty. With security of tenure lacking, what can be done to ensure thousands more residents don't become refugees in their own city?

Sogunro is one of the six "villages" that make up the larger Makoko area. The community is one of many waterfront settlements, and is spread across land and water

Makoko, was formed as a fishing village in the 19th Century.

It is one of many waterfront communities in Lagos that live with a constant threat of eviction due to land-grabbing by the Lagos government.

Boats offer the most useful form of transport around the maze of waterway 'roads' that connect the community.

An estimated 2,000 people enter Lagos every day, many ending up in informal settlements like Sogunro.

As the population grew, and land ran out, the community began to build into the water. New houses continue to grow.

Sogunro, like many of the other waterfront settlements of Lagos, is primarily populated by the Egun ethnic group that originate in the south eastern parts of Nigeria, as well as in neighbouring Benin.

Fishing remains one of the main sources of livelihood for members of the community. Fishermen work in the lagoon with the Third Mainland Bridge in the background - the 2nd longest bridge in Africa.

Fishing remains one of the main sources of livelihood for members of the community. Fishermen work in the lagoon with the Third Mainland Bridge in the background - the 2nd longest bridge in Africa.

Along with fishing, sand dredging and timber are other major sources of livelihood - this child works on fixing his net.

Any floating vessel can provide an innovative commute to school.

Rubbish litters the waterways where children play and families live. Much of the rubbish is collected an used as an innovative foundation for land reclamation.

While some of the community is on such land, the vast majority sits on water. Much of the community reside on stilted houses, whose only access by boat.

The busy waterways criss-cross the community.

With limited space on land, the vast community has built into the water. Following the mass evictions of another waterfront Egun community, Otodo Gbame, the population of Sogunro swelled as many evictees were accomodated.

Agbojete Johnson is the Baale, or 'King', of Sogunro. He was instrumental in sending boats to Otodo Gbame to collect evictees and bring them to Sogunro.

"It was terrible", he recounts, "the people really suffered. Even as big as this community is, there is no government hospital. They don't care about us."

Janet Azindji accommodated twenty people from Otodo Gbame, including eight children.

One of the evictees taken in by Janet is Veronica Agbogla. Veronica was blinded by the fires that were lit during the brutal evictions. "I lost my house, all my property, and everything I have laboured for".

Veronica is now squatting at Janet's home, but cannot locate the rest of her family.

Elenu Dossa, a refugee from Otodo Gbame, remembers being attacked by hoodlums who set the community on fire, shooting sporadically. She says that "now there are too many people living in the rooms where I am squatting.

This has caused high temperatures and most of the children are ill. We want the government to help us return home, and to rebuild our houses".

Paul Gandotoho (right), a community chief in the community, and Agban Aplanti (centre), a community elder discuss the evictions in Otodo Gbame.

As well as being a community chief, Paul Gandotoho is a tailor who took in some of the displaced people from Otodo Gbame.

Agban Aplanti, a community elder.

Esinsu Francis was evicted after the demolitions in Otodo Gbame. He moved to Sogunro to rent a room for himself, his wife and three children. He was able to save two or three sewing machines for his wife who is a tailor.

Alice Kiki was forced to move to Sogunro following the evictions in Otodo Gbame.

Gerard Avlessi is a community leader in Sogunro. He is also a member of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation, and has been involved in Federation activities for the last few years.

He and a few others have been leading the outreach to other Egun communities in Cotonou, Benin.

Gerard owns and runs a tailoring school in Sogunro.

Gerard teaches tailoring to a number of young apprentices.

Some of the apprentices are also members of the Nigerian Slum / Informal Settlement Federation. One of the many tasks being undertaken by the Federation is to profile the communities.

Community profiling, mapping and enumerations gather data that can be used to identify our needs and urban planning solutions.

This fisherman is from the community, and lives close to Gerard. He invited his sister, who had lived in Otodo Gbame during the evictions, to come and stay with him when her house was demolished.

Gerard's son.

Victoria Amsu is a tailor from Otodo Gbame. After the evictions she moved to Sogunro. Her house was burnt along with her working tools and wasn’t allowed to go back to pick anything up before her house was set ablaze.

Many evictees have begun to return, though the rising cost of land on the waterfronts of Lagos remain a continued threat for Sogunro as well as Otodo Gbame and many others.

The Lagos government is intent on reinventing the city as modern and forward-looking, though the sprawling Makoko community, of which Sogunro is part, lies in full visibility to those who cross the Third Mainland Bridge to do business on Lagos island.

The community is seen by those city planners as an 'embarrassment', posing a great threat to the future of the community.

While many evictees from Otodo Gbame have begun returning to rebuild their community, the future of all waterfront settlements in Lagos is faced with uncertainty. With security of tenure lacking, what can be done to ensure thousands more residents don't become refugees in their own city?

Lagos, Nigeria
Skyrocketing growth in Lagos has led to conflicts over land, often resulting in violent attacks on poor communities. More than 30,000 people were forcibly evicted from their homes in the fishing community of Otodo Gbame in November 2016 (see Evictions in Lagos - Otodo Gbame).

Evictions and the resultant loss of homes leave residents as refugees in their own city. Following the evictions in Otodo Gbame, residents from Sogunro, another waterfront informal settlement, travelled through the lagoons of Lagos in boats to collect and accommodate evictees in their own homes.

Residents from Otodo Gbame have suffered greatly, and in many cases have become separated from family. Meanwhile, the already densely populated host-community of Sogunro has been strained by the sudden growth in population. Overcrowding has led to illness and disease outbreaks, though there is no government health centre within the maze of waterfront buildings.

Some residents are slowly starting the process of moving back and rebuilding Otodo Gbame, though the threat of evictions remain for all waterrfront communities in Lagos, including Sogunro. These photographs portray the Sogunro community, and tell the stories of the hosts and evictees who have become refugees in their own city.

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