News / Africa

Satellites Prove Forced Evictions in Nigeria, Amnesty Says

A section of the Badia East community in Lagos, Nigeria, before the forced eviction on February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center)
A section of the Badia East community in Lagos, Nigeria, before the forced eviction on February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center)
Heather Murdock
Amnesty International says satellite imagery shows 9,000 people have been forcibly evicted from their homes or businesses in a Lagos, Nigeria slum this year. And while residents told the organization that they were forced to leave at gunpoint, the government says the area was a trash dump.
 
It is an old story, and it is not just in Nigeria. Poor people build makeshift homes on empty land. When the land becomes valuable they are forced out. Amnesty International says in February of this year, an area known Badia East in Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city, was demolished with no warning to residents.  
 
The organization's Meghna Abraham said armed officers accompanied construction crews to the demolition, and they told people “If you love your life, move out.” Many of those people, she said, still are homeless and jobless.  
 
“A lot of them had these small businesses and were self-sufficient in the past, but now have lost their sources of income in addition to their homes so are completely dependent on families or friends to give them even basic necessities - clothing, food,” said Abraham.

A bulldozer demolishes homes in Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC))A bulldozer demolishes homes in Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC))
x
A bulldozer demolishes homes in Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC))
A bulldozer demolishes homes in Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, February 23, 2013. (Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC))
Families, she added, also remain separated by the destruction of the neighborhood. “A lot of people commented on the fact that they have had to send their children away because they have nowhere to keep them while they're homeless. The consequences have been very, very devastating for people.”

She said some government officials told Amnesty the area was a rubbish dump, while others reported there were evictions when the land was cleared to make way for what will be new, mixed-income housing.  
 
Abraham says this is part of a larger pattern in Lagos State, citing forced evictions in 2012 in a fishing village called Mkoko on Lagos Lagoon.  Both Badia East and Mkoko residents are fighting in court to keep their homes.

But not everyone in Lagos state thinks this pattern is a bad thing.  The state government led by Governor Babtunde Fashola has been widely praised for development projects that directly impact the people, like building a railway and fixing roads.

Satellite image taken after the demolition of Oke Ilu-Eri, Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, April 8, 2013. (DigitalGlobe)Satellite image taken after the demolition of Oke Ilu-Eri, Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, April 8, 2013. (DigitalGlobe)
x
Satellite image taken after the demolition of Oke Ilu-Eri, Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, April 8, 2013. (DigitalGlobe)
Satellite image taken after the demolition of Oke Ilu-Eri, Badia East, Lagos, Nigeria, April 8, 2013. (DigitalGlobe)
As he waits for a city bus, a marketing executive said tearing down slums, which he calls ‘shantytowns,’ reduces crime and makes Lagos more appealing for tourists. “I think it is a welcome development. I think it is a good idea for the government of the state to destroy shanties and try to develop a new site.”

Amnesty International says Nigeria lacks a legal framework to protect people from forced evictions, which make the evicted residents poorer and more vulnerable. But development officials say destroying slums and replacing them with planned communities is one way they hope to lift Nigeria out of poverty.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ahmed karim from: nyc
August 13, 2013 6:01 AM
Africa, Africa, Africa ! Old boy . We seem to be experts in doing things the reverse way to the white people from whom we seem to be copying everything. How could you buldoze a place whithout providing at least a temporary place for these thousands of people you are displacing? What is the purpose of a Government? It is to help protect its own citizens. but in Africa, the citizens are enemies and had to be crushed. What a life? You disrupt your own citizens' lives without providing any alternatives to them. it is just a command and people have to obey. When shall we ever be civilized and be humans?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs