Lagos slum residents live among garbage at “Dustbin Estate”

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A documentary produced by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in Nigeria highlights how high rentals and poverty in Lagos, one of the fastest growing cities on the continent, have driven thousands of residents to build shacks at “Dustbin Estate,” a slum in Awodiora, Ajeromi Ifelodun, to the west of Lagos.

The film, “Keeping up with Dustbin Estate dwellers,” highlights the housing crisis in the city, but also illustrates the extraordinary adaptability of its residents.

The slum was initially swampland that was filled with refuse and reclaimed about 25 years ago. People build shacks on the rubbish heap using polythene, wooden planks and zinc roofing sheets.

The hygiene and environmental conditions of Dustbin Estate are unsurprisingly hazardous, exacerbated by a lack of toilets. Residents have reported a host of diseases including cholera and malaria. However, the CDD reports that most residents have developed a strong immunity to the unhealthy conditions, which often overwhelm visitors – many of whom have fallen ill when visiting the site.

The documentary emphasises the ingenuity and adaptation of the slum dwellers. Through the help of more educated residents and Love on the Streets charity foundation, residents have established “pay-as-you-go” schools that offer low cost education for local children.

The future is uncertain for Dustbin Estate’s residents since the land is not legally inhabited and a slum upgrade also seems unlikely.

The Premium Times Nigeria has the full story.

Image credit: screen shot from documentary “Keeping up with Dustbin Estate dwellers.”

 

 

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