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Living Off the Lagoon
By Eniola Ilesanmi
26 Mar 2014

There is a palpable fear in Makoko-------the stilted settlement on the Lagos Lagoon. The fear is real and will not depart, at least not now!
For more than thirty years, local fishermen from around neighbouring villages, towns and countries such as Benin republic and Togo had converged to recreate and live in this settlement that is feared to be the biggest slum in Nigeria!

Makoko has attracted the attention of the Lagos metropolitan government in recent years and it is set to pull it down, burn its photogenic wooden structures built at the tip of the Lagoon, stretching from Oworonsoki district to the West of Ebutte-meta and rebuild it (not for the present residents)as part of the mega-city urban renewal dvelopment project.

From the beginning of 2005, Makoko had been on my list for documentation and i began exploring that opportunity with the coverage of the National census in 2006.

Makoko is a beautiful, photogenic place with a rough estimate of about thirty-thousand people residing. The culture of this small community is entirely on fishing and its commerce, education and social ceremonies are done on the surface of the polluted Lagoon.

Though makoko assumed an ugly picture of pollution and collapsable structures, it is a reminder of our surprising world where a committed, strong and creative people can thrive regardless of the deadliest barriers!.

Though not far from Lagos city skylines where Nigeria had her first glittering central business district, Makoko has never experienced electricity, has no clean drinking water and education is a figurative chioce!

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Living off the Lagoon 3
Nigeria
By Eniola Ilesanmi
25 Mar 2014

A girl paddles a canoe with water continers

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Living off the Lagoon 1
Nigeria
By Eniola Ilesanmi
25 Mar 2014

People sit in front of a stilt house in Makoko.

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Life in Malawi 3
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Sweet Potato Field
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

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Life in Malawi 1
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Cooking Sweet Potatoes
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

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Coastal Lagoon Clean-up on Earth Day ...
Coastal Lagoon, Las Pinas, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
20 Apr 2013

After 2 years of cleaning, the coastal lagoon shoreline looks like this on April 20, 2013.

Two years ago, the coastline Coastal Lagoon, officially known as the Las Piñas Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), more popularly known as Freedom Island is covered with thick garbage and rubbish. Thru the efforts of Wild Birds Club of the Philippines, Save Freedom Island Movement and various environmental NGO’s helped in cleaning the coastal bay and as a result, the coastal lagoon is almost clean now.
The clean-up event at Freedom Island (Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism area) on April 20, 2013, Saturday, is in celebration of Earth Day which is observed in more than 192 countries every year to promote awareness and appreciation of our environment and to demonstrate support for its protection and restoration.

Freedom Island is the last remaining mangrove frontier in Metro Manila that serves as a sanctuary for avian, terrestrial and marine species. It is home for more than 80 species of migratory and endemic birds, including the already vulnerable Chinese Egret and Philippine Duck. The mangrove ecosystem also serves as a feeding, nesting and nursery grounds for commercially important fish, prawns, mollusks, crabs and shellfish where livelihoods of coastal communities depend. By this virtue, it has been declared as a critical habitat by Proclamation 1412 in 2007 and, also, been recently included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

However, threats against the bird sanctuary’s existence, such as the controversial reclamation project, relentless dumping of waste and pollution, continue to remain. Thus, more action from the people is needed to protect and restore it.

Said coastal clean-up event is not only a campaign to inspire people to clean up their surroundings but a show of an alarming concern about further environmental depletion. It serves as a call to action to all citizens to take part in saving the environment, as well as a call to the government to act upon the garbage problem and to stop all disastrous reclamation projects. (Source: http://www.facebook.com/events/362286580548042/?fref=ts)

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Coastal Lagoon Clean Up For Earth Day
Coastal Lagoon, Las Pinas, Philippines
By U.S. Editor
20 Apr 2013

Two years ago, the Coastal Lagoon, officially called the Las Piñas Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), but popularly known as Freedom Island, was covered with garbage and rubbish. Through the efforts of the Wild Birds Club of the Philippines, the Save Freedom Island Movement and various environmental NGO’s have helped clean the coastal bay and as a result, the lagoon is now almost clean.

The clean-up event at Freedom Island on April 20, 2013, is in celebration of Earth Day, which is observed in more than 192 countries every year to promote awareness and appreciation of our environment and to demonstrate support for its protection and restoration.

Freedom Island is the last remaining mangrove frontier in Metro Manila that serves as a sanctuary for avian, terrestrial and marine species. It is home to more than 80 species of migratory and endemic birds, including the already vulnerable Chinese Egret and the Philippine Duck. The mangrove ecosystem also serves as a feeding, nesting and nursery grounds for commercially important fish, prawns, mollusks, crabs and shellfish. By this virtue, it has been declared a critical habitat by Proclamation 1412 in 2007 and has also recently been included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

However, threats against the bird sanctuary’s continue to exist, such as the controversial reclamation project, and continuous dumping of waste and pollution. Thus, more action from the people is needed to protect and restore it.

The coastal clean-up event is not only a campaign to inspire people to clean up their surroundings, but also a show of concern about further environmental depletion. It serves as a call to action to all citizens to take part in saving the environment, as well as a call to the government take action and to stop all disastrous reclamation projects.

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The People of Pingelap (13 of 27)
Pingelap, Federated States of Micronesia
By Hannes von der Fecht
25 Mar 2008

Two color-blind men on a boat in the lagoon of Pingelap atoll.

Pingelap is a small island in the Pacific Ocean, a part of the Federate States of Micronesia. About 240 people live on this atoll. Ten per cent of them have a genetic form of colour blindness, achromatopsia, meaning their sight is extremely diffused and their eyes very sensitive to light. This disease is locally known as "Maskun", which in Pingelapese language means "to not see".
In his book, The Island of the Colorblind, Oliver Sacks, author and neurologist, describes the life of the inhabitants of Pingelap. His interest is based on the question, if, because of the multitude of people with Maskun in Pingelap, there is an independent culture of colour blind people. This book inspired me to travel to Pingelap and create a photographic series as a study in the perception of people with Maskun. I discovered that in everyday life people with Maskun are hardly distinguishable from those without – only the constant blinking of the eyes in the bright sunshine reveals any difference. With my camera I wanted to somehow visualise how the island was percieved by its inhabitants and come to terms with those who are living with Maskun.