How Lagos shanty residents risk lives daily traveling on water

Makoko is a shanty slum in Lagos with a population considered to be approximately one hundred thousand.

Thousands of residents who lives around Makoko and other places close to the creeks risk their lives daily traveling at night on waterways.

Mr Ganiyu Balogun, President, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), made the revelation while advising boat operators on Friday to avoid night travel on waterways due to inadequate signs and illumination.

Makoko is a shanty slum in Lagos with a population considered to be approximately one hundred thousand.

Below are ways thousands of Makoko residents escape death daily traveling by water at night:

There are no Rapid Response on water at night:

According to Balogun, there are no Rapid Response Squad on water like we have on land.

He warned that any time after 8 p.m, a boat captain might not get any assistance from anywhere in case of a mishap.

No signs, no illumination on the water to know this area is dangerous:

Makoko waterways is not like the road that one could put on full light. If you put on full light in the water, the reflector will not let you see anything.

Balogun said that boat operators could only use navigation lights at night.

No navigational aid:

There are no navigational aids in Makoko, during the harmattan, when the water is really foggy, you cannot see about five metres from where you are. That is the time you need navigational aid.

Residents of Makoko make use of their own boats,The Global Positioning System (GPS) should be on a boat but not everybody can afford it yet.

Even in countries that can afford the GPS, there are still navigable signs on the water that direct the boats and as the captain is going, he is seeing the signs.

Wrecks, obstruction on waterways:

There are wrecks and obstruction on Makoko waterways more often than not, the wrecks or obstruction on the waterways cause accidents.

Night travel is dangerous on this axis because in case of the unexpected, everybody will tilt to one side and such a boat could capsize.

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