Makoko, Lagos, Nigeria
Makoko is a huge slum in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria. It is also a fishing community, this project would empower the fishing community in the area with better equipments to increase their fishing yield and boost their income.
We discovered that the fishermen still use crude fishing tools and equipments that are worn out. They use leaky boats which pose a risk to their lives and poses a huge danger to them while fishing. This use of poor tools affects their fishing productivity and production. They toil longer hours fishing with little yield.
Fishing is the primary means of livelihood for the Makoko community, equipping the fishermen with better equipments would boost fishing in the area and also stimulate the local economy. More people in the community would venture into fishing as it would safer and more profitable with better fishing equipments. There is a huge demand for fish as a healthy source of protein, with better yield they would be better placed to meetup to the demand.
Expected Impact & Benefits
This project would:
- Empower the Makoko fishing community to fish effectively and increase their fishing yield and income
- Create a safer environment for fishing
- Unemployment in the community would reduce and fishing would be seen by the youths as viable means of livelihood
- The local economy would be further stimulated
Subsequent to the previous reporting period, below is a highlight of key activities on the Project:
- Painting and branding services were finalised and work on all boats was completed
- The DoGood.Africa team adopted an inclusive strategy for distributing the fishing equipment to the neediest youths within the community. The strategy adopted balanced the interest of key stakeholders while also achieving the impact objective of the Project. It involved engaging key influencers within the community including the two waterfront community leaders, the youth leader, and religious leaders within the community. These influencers were tasked to collaboratively select potential beneficiaries within their spheres of influence and a list of 12 individuals were submitted. The list was representative of each influencer’s nomination. The individuals listed were further reclassified into 10 neediest potential beneficiaries on the basis of factors including their abilities to fish, number of dependents, and disabilities
- The DoGood.Africa team pushed for the inclusion of women on the list of potential beneficiaries but community norms restricted women to participating in activities further down the value chain (that is, selling fish harvested from fishing trips) rather than direct fishing
- The services of the Nigerian Police Force were procured in readiness for the commissioning event to mitigate potential risks of violence during the event
- In preparation for the event, other event planning activities including preparation of the venue, engagement of a photographer, a videographer, and a disc jockey were also put in place
- The commissioning even scheduled for the 21st of December 2019 began with a visit to the community influencers earlier engaged to pay appropriate obeisance for their support and collaboration with DoGood.Africa on the Project. Necessary traditional rites were performed before the commissioning event commenced
- Subsequently, interviews were held with each of the 10 beneficiaries to validate their bio data information and the reasons provided for their selection as submitted by the influencers. Discussions with the 10 beneficiaries revealed that most of them rented boats from other owners on a daily basis at an average fee of ₦2,000 for 4 hours, some worked for these owners and commission was paid to them depending on the value of the fish caught daily while others accompanied friends to fish. In terms of average revenue generation, this ranged between ₦2,000 to ₦6,000 daily out of which rental fees were either paid or commissions earned depending on the arrangement made with the boat owners
- Major constraints to revenue generation mentioned included period of boat use (limited to about 4 hours a day), risks of boat damage associated with exploring farther distance to capture more fish harvest, and seasonality
- Other findings from discussions with the beneficiaries showed that all beneficiaries were married and had at least two dependents within their immediate families and several others within their extended families. None of the beneficiaries with more than one child was able to enrol all his children in a school at the same time majorly due to lack of funds
- Thereafter, the commissioning event officially commenced with the influencers, beneficiaries, and other spectators within the community. A formal presentation of the fishing equipment (including the boats) was made to the 10 neediest beneficiaries identified and screened. The other two beneficiaries were however given fishing nets, hooks, and ropes
- The event was closed with another interview with some of the beneficiaries and they expressed their gratitude to the DoGood team and the Project donors for the opportunity given noting that the Project would change the narratives of their fishing career as they had been empowered to increase their productivity, income, and ultimately the lives of their families. The community influencers also expressed their gratitude to DoGood and the Project donors for considering the community for such benefits and appealed for more interventions to empower youths within the community
Subsequent to closing, the DoGood.Africa team has moved swiftly to commence the process of implementing the Empower Makoko Community Project (the “Project”) by engaging the leadership and other stakeholders within the community to ensure their alignment with the aim of the Project. Highlights of key activities within the period are presented below:
- Community engagement and approval of the Baale (Community Head) was obtained for project implementation
- The services of Taiwo, a community member and the son of the Baale, were procured as on-the-ground Project Manager. An agreement was signed in this regard for a compensation
- Fishing equipment vendors were identified, and fishing equipment including fishing nets and hooks, rain boots, and life jackets were procured
- Two boat builders were also commissioned to build a total of 10 large size boats. These have now been completed and boat builders have been fully settled
- The services of a painter were also procured to brand the fishing equipment. This has been done and the last batch of boats are being painted and branded. This is expected to be completed during the course of the coming week
However, facilitating the execution of the project was not without difficulties. Some of the challenges faced so far include:
- Boat cost overrun: The cost of building a boat exceeded our budget by 8,500 per boat. This was linked to the high cost of wood during the period. This challenge was however offset by cost savings from other equipment and the DoGood.Africa Team’s conservative approach to ensuring the most value is obtained at a minimal cost
- Timeline for implementation: This was extended by a week due to delays in the completion of the boats
- Security and Environment: concerns around safety and security limited the frequency of the Team’s visit to the community. Situated on the Lagos Lagoon, there are also concerns around how best to carry out successful commissioning of the project within the community. Effective strategies are however being considered.
Key Next Steps
- Finalise on painting and branding services
- Intensify awareness efforts toward project implementation on 21 December 2019
- Finalise on the best approach to ensuring maximum impact from project implementation.
Empower Makoko Fishing Community
Thank you to all our donors, we have met our fundraising goal.
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UN SDG Fulfilled