Jon Gambrell of The Associated Press is reporting that Nigeria has begun destroying informal settlements and neighborhoods in Lagos in order to make way for improved infrastructure. Most recently, the government tore through the Ijora-Badia neighborhood on Feb. 23, although this comes after the demolition of many others. Residents were forced to sleep outside, in a community hall, and in a nearby church. Poverty is widespread in Lagos, the country’s largest city, inescapable even in areas mostly populated by wealthy politicians.
The reason for the demolition is unclear. Some at the site said they believed the area would be converted into an upper-class housing estate, which seemed unlikely as it sits in an industrial area.
This is the latest of a string of demolitions to target slums in the city, most conducted without any prior warning. In July, police and state officials began razing homes in the waterfront slum of Makoko, an iconic neighborhood of Lagos where thousands live in shack homes rising out of the city’s lagoon on stilts. The government stopped after a public outcry, but many fear officials could resume tearing homes down at any time. Similar demolitions have occurred elsewhere in the country, including Port Harcourt, where activists say some 25,000 families lost their homes.
Read more at Yahoo! News.
This news brief was written by Kaitlin Higgins.