Makoko Pearls was set up by Chioma Okereke, the author of WATER BABY (Quercus, April 2024) to give readers — and the world at large — a safe way to financially support the inhabitants of the inspiring community, where WATER BABY is predominantly set.
Established in the 19th century, Makoko is an informal waterfront settlement in Lagos, Nigeria, across from the 3rd Mainland Bridge. A third of the community is built on stilts along the lagoon and the rest is on the land.
The population of Makoko has grown dramatically throughout the years, and statistics about the settlement and its communities are often inaccurate since the area appears as a near-blank space on maps – with little information about structures, density, or streets. This means it is almost impossible to properly track land ownership, plan infrastructure, optimise services, plan for emergencies, or support development.
More vitally, not being on the map means not being properly included in the allocation of resources by authorities.
The settlement lacks basic social amenities such as electricity, schools, and healthcare clinics. Adequate sanitation is equally hard to access. Your donations can help change that!
The more I discovered about the community, the more enamoured I became with Makoko and the many people who call it their home. Yemoja’s is but one imagined life on the water. There are thousands more — in reality — doing the best they can in incredibly difficult conditions.
As worldwide conversations about the environment and climate change escalate, and some global leaders take steps back that mean that many of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are unlikely to be met, it’s never been more important to add our voices to the chorus before it’s too late to sing.
So, while we focus on the planet at large, it’s my hope that we spare more than thoughts for those presently living in less fortunate circumstances, within communities most greatly impacted by these devastating — and preventable — changes, and help out financially, where possible.
For those donating elsewhere, I encourage you to research thoroughly to ensure that your money truly reaches the settlement directly.