ENTERING INTO THE COMMUNITY
Slums represent the worst of urban poverty and inequality. The challenges of living in a slum area are immense and efforts to improve the living conditions of slum dwellers have been feeble and incoherent over the years.
Worldwide, almost 1 billion or 32% of the urban population are now living in slums. In sub-Saharan Africa, slum populations are growing at 4.5 percent per annum, a rate at which populations double every 15 years.
Every state in Nigeria including the federal capital, has at least one slum where poor people live in run-down houses way below the poverty line. Although some slums are worse than others, majority of them are water-logged and are used as alternative refuse dumps.
People who live or grew up in places like Lekki-Lagos, G.R.A-Port-Harcourt, Asokoro-Abuja, Satellite Town-Calabar, New Haven-Enugu, and some other sophisticated parts of Nigeria, will be marveled to find out about other places in the same city that are overcrowded, flooded, have dilapidated structures, stagnant waste and unhygienic environments.
In Lagos state, Nigeria, there are many slums that are unhygienic enough for human being. Apart from the various shanties that you would see in the slum, most of the people in the slum live in huts made of planks, bamboo on the lagoon. Such is the case of people in Ilaje Bariga of Somolu Local Government, Lagos state, Nigeria.
Ilaje is a sprawling slum which is located along Bariga in Lagos State, Nigeria. As you move closer to the community, you would immediately begin to see wooden houses which are constructed on the brackish water of Lagos lagoon. You would also notice an environment that is so dirty which would make you think it’s not fit for anyone to reside.
Despite the unfavorable environment in Ilaje, people live there happily. On entering the settlement, you would see both young and adult wandering about, some aimlessly, some with intentions, and some for business.
In the next few days, we’ll be sharing with you the struggles of women living in the underserved community of ilaje bariga, Lagos state, Nigeria.