As a way of improving the quality of education in a sustainable way, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is constructing a group of floating schools in Makoko coastal community of Lagos.
The school, whose prototype design was unveiled during a ceremony a week ago, is a two-storey building standing on silt and would be powered by solar energy.
Country Director of the UNDP in Nigeria, Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje, in an opening remark said the UN body was committed to improving the standard of living of people and expressed optimism that the school would change the face of Makoko.
According to her, the children in the Makoko waterfront community deserve quality education in a conducive environment and the floating school project serves that purpose.
She added that through the support of the Lagos State Government the school would attract tourists to see the wonder school floating on the Lagos Lagoon.
Designer of the Makoko Floating School, Kunle Adeyemi, said the school is a sustainable project that would not be affected by the impact of climate change like sea level rise.
This is, according to him, is because the water level at any given time does not affect the school but the school floats without being disturbed. The waste generated in the school would be recycled, he added.
Adeyemi, an architect, called for support in construction of more floating schools in other coastal communities across the country because, according to him, it would help to improve the lives of the people in such areas.
One of the community leaders in the Makoko waterfront community, Chief Francais Agoyon, thanked the UNDP for constructing a school that suits their environment and the needs of his people.
Agoyon stressed that the Makoko people would make good use of the school and called for more of such developmental projects that meets the demand of the people.
He believes that, with such projects in Makoko, the area would attract tourists from far and wide that would enjoy the hospitality of the residents.
Programme Officer of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Paul Okunlola, described the project as a welcome initiative by the UNDP because children in Makoko will not be disadvantaged from accessing quality education because of their environment.
Okunlola stressed that the UN-Habitat was committed to achieving Goal 7, Target 11 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that is in line with upgrading slums across the world.
“Though more slums are coming up but it is a running battle and we are aimed to win the war,” he added.
By Tina Armstrong-Ogbonna