Children play at their make-shift home inscribed with a court order obtained to stop the authorities from demolishing shanty town Otodo Gbame waterfront fishing communities in Lagos, on November 28, 2016. AFP / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
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Efforts by Lagos authorities to turn Nigeria's chaotic commercial capital into a modern megacity have run into controversy after the demolition of an impoverished waterfront neighborhood left 30,000 people homeless. With swanky private estates and a glittering new city under construction on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean, housing for some of the 20 million people living in notoriously dysfunctional Lagos appears to be getting better.The latest casualty was Otodo Gbame, a poor fishing community close to the upmarket southeastern district of Lekki, which was completely razed in early November this year as part of a growing drive to remove shantytowns.Lagos has a history of demolishing entire neighborhoods.Noah Shemede, director of a floating school in Makoko, another waterfront neighborhood in Lagos, said residents are living in fear. Building experts say hundreds of thousands of people are in need of shelter in the city and are urging the government to provide affordable houses for the poor.
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