BY MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
Residents of Makoko/Iwaya Waterfront in Yaba Local Council Development Area, LCDA, will soon begin to enjoy the luxury of a floating school jointly built by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP and NLE Works, Nigeria.
The three storey floating building is part of the regeneration plan for the coastal community.
According to the builders the construction of the school is aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, Goal II, which is to boost universal primary education.
This came barely eight months after the Lagos State government demolished hundreds of ‘illegal structures in the area.
When Vanguard visited the site of the floating school at the weekend, residents of the community were already heaving a sigh of relief, anticipating that many of their children will now have access to sound education.
Vanguard gathered that the new primary school named ‘Makoko floating School’, was built on a foundation of 256 plastic drums and powered by solar panels suspended on the roof. Investigation further revealed that, many residents are praying that the design will be approved by governor Babatunde Fashola.
Sources also told Vanguard that the floating school cost N993, 750 ($6, 250), because of its size.
Mr. John Adugbo, a resident of Makoko, said; “We have been waiting for the project that will aid more children to attend school. Presently, many children don’t have access to good educational facilities.”
Adugbo added; “All we have is a school that was constructed to serve as a palliative measure because of our peculiar challenge of being surrounded by water.”
The founder of NLE, and promoter of the floating school, Mr. Kunle Adeyemi who spoke to Vanguard from his Netherland office, said; “The desire to construct the school was burn out of curiosity after I visited the community and interest in the coastal community, where despite the little income made daily by the breadwinners, they have never stopped developing the infrastructure.”
Explaining the building’s features, Adeyemi said “The ground floor of the school would serve as an open recreational space for the pupils during the day and at night and weekends, their fathers can converge and hold meetings.”
He added that the first floor and the upper floor have classrooms that would serve their primary purpose.
According to him, “the structure will accommodate over 100 students and their teachers and it is an extension of the only existing school in the coastal community.”
Vanguard gathered that the community which has over 100, 000 residents has only one primary school, called ‘Whayinna Nursery and Primary school’ and no secondary.
Adeyemi continued “the floating school is an extension of the existing primary school which could only provide sound education service to less than 200 children in the community. The state government can also adopt the structure for all the coastal communities in the state,” he added.