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Mokoko, the Venice of Lagos, Built on a Pile of Rubbish

May 6, 2010

What would you get if you combined chaotic, bottom-up urban development in Nigeria with seasteading? Perhaps something like Mokoko, a region of Lagos built on the water. Residents pay to have trash delivered to their doorsteps to build landfill. In a city of 10 million, about 100,000 live on water. Watch this excerpt below from the BBC special. It’s astounding–I’m mean just heroic, to see these entrepreneurs who specialize in squeezing everything they can out of such difficult circumstances. Layers and layers of ingenuity and relentlessly resourceful people. Think about their process to create land, discovered when they realized how quickly wooden plank bridges rotted: they pay about 30 pence per pile to have rubbish diverted their way from a local dump. They collect it and pile it and wait six months for it to settle. Six months! They then cover it with sawdust (collected from nearby saw mills) to mitigate any repugnant smells. Finally, once it’s stable, they cover it yet again with sand and stomp on it. Voila–land! Trial and error at its best.

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19 Comments
  1. May 7, 2010 5:11 am

    Pretty cool. The Dutch have also reclaimed land from the water.

  2. Jonathon Swift permalink
    May 7, 2010 5:20 pm

    Yeah, right. What Lagos needs im ore land. I’ve been to Lagos, spent two weeks there. It is th most god foresaken palce on this earth.

  3. NOTAL permalink
    May 12, 2010 12:17 am

    It is the anti-Palm Jumeirah

  4. July 4, 2011 9:49 am

    Your blog has made me think about an subject from another angle. This is absolutely rare when I change my opinion about such questions but it looks that you’ve done it. The day has begin with something new! Thank you!

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    According to CNN, landfills sag and are less stable than poles. The UN funded a new school build on floating barrels.

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