Flood destroys award winning Makoko Floating School in Lagos

    Birdview of Makoko Floating school

    Heavy rain storm has brought down world famous Makoko Floating School today in the bustling coastal city that is Lagos..

    The exact circumstances surrounding the accident and possible casualty are yet to be confirmed but indications are that about 300 children mainly from the nearby Makoko waterfront community have now been left without a school.

    Makoko Floating School collapse

    According to the Head Teacher of the school, Noah Shemede, many of the children are in despair and praying something is done urgently to enable them complete their last term of the 2015/2016 academic year.

    Prior to the commencement of the project, the children of Makoko only had access to one primary school which was considered inadequate, built on reclaimed land and was frequently threatened by recurrent flooding.

    In 2013, an architect, Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ, proposed to transform the water slum status of the Makoko waterfront community to a floating island by creating a functional building prototype. He collaborated with organisations such as the Heinrich Böll Foundation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Federal Ministry of Environment’s Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP), Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and Makoko waterfront community to execute the project.


    The floating school comprises alternative sustainable buildings and structures designed to adapt to the resident communities’ aquatic lifestyle. The floating school utilises local materials such as bamboo, timber and resources to produce architecture that applies to the physical, social needs of people and reflects the culture of the community.

    The structure was also designed to use about 250 plastic barrels to float on the waters and be naturally ventilated and aerated. There are considerations to use the building prototype to provide additional infrastructure for the community including an entertainment centre, a community hub and health clinics.

    The floating school design won the 2013 AR+D award for emerging architecture and was shortlisted for the London Design Museum’s 2014 Design of the Year award. It also received a nomination for the 2015 International Award for Public Art.