By ANNA EDWARDS
PUBLISHED: 11:51 EST, 27 September 2012 | UPDATED: 01:45 EST, 28 September 2012
Their canoes drift on the water as piles of rubbish float outside their shacks.
Shabby shacks on stilts, floating waste and rickety boats fill the expanse of murky water.
But for the thousands of poor people forced to live in Nigeria’s infamous Makoko slum in Lagos, this is their home.
School children dash off a canoe in the rain in the floating slum of Makoko, in Lagos, Nigeria. The floating waste and rickety buildings are a familiar sight for the youngsters
People paddle canoes through the oily water on the floating slum. The waterways are their ‘paths’ and the community has been established there since the 18th century
Despite the every day hardship the youngsters face, the children beam when they see a camera and still laugh and play like their more privileged peers in richer parts of the world
Every day life for the many fishermen and their families revolves around paddling and rowing through the filthy, oily water in the slum – but this does not stop the young children from beaming when they see a camera.
Authorities threatened to knock down the dilapidated homes, which are classed as ‘illegal’ buildings and have been branded an ‘environmental nuisance’, the BBC reported.
The threat, which was issued in July and gave residents just 72 hours notice, saw some homes reportedly having their stilts hacked off and shacks being destroyed.
The move struck fear in many of the dwellers hearts and they feared they would be left without shelter as they had nowhere to go or anyone to turn to.
But, months after the reported demolition warning, a group is now planning on building a floating school, in a bid to improve the lives of the youngsters who live in Makoko.
The settlement, which is built on Lake Lagos, is regarded as an eyesore by authorities as it is built on a huge waterfront.
Activists strongly criticised the clearance in July, saying the move would mean thousands would be displaced, the BBC reported.
The slum is visible from the bridge which connects the Nigerian mainland to the Lagos’ rich island districts, and the eradication of the slum is part of a plan to clean up Lagos and improve its image.
The infamous slum was said to be created in the 18th century as a fishing village, but has ballooned as others have sought to find a home.
A man stands on the dock of a proposed floating school in the smoggy surrounding of the slum. Authorities reportedly demolished a part of Makoko, displacing many dwellers there
An unidentified lady empties water from a canoe in Lagos. The community has ballooned as thousands of poor people are forced to live in shacks propped above the murky water
A young girl rows a canoe. Many youngsters are forced to grow up fast in the grim reality of Makoko, which is being targeted by authorities trying to clean up the city’s image
Men travel by canoe in the floating slum which sits on the waterfront. Thousands feared they would be left homeless after authorities tried to destroy the slum
Children talk in the floating slum. For many, their lives revolve around the grim reality of the shanty floating town
A smiling young girl travels by canoe. The heartbreaking photos show the hardship the Nigerians experience every single day