Study on the impact of covid on people living in Lagos' slums

Lagos slum.jpg

The pandemic has made many people living in Lagos’ slums even more vulnerable to eviction. This study seeks to understand the impact of crises like covid-19 on housing security to help shape local land reforms.

Attempts to formalise land rights have been largely unsuccessful in Nigeria – less than 3% of land in the country is officially registered. To address the problem, the city of Lagos has introduced e-certificates and made registering a home more affordable. Despite this, many people continue to experience insecure housing, especially those living in the city’s 100+ slums.

Covid-19 has made the situation even worse for the urban poor. Lockdowns have made it impossible for informal workers to earn a living and pay their rent, driving an increase in evictions. To inform response strategies, this study will explore the connections between covid-19, land rights and urbanisation through surveys in the following five types of communities:

  • a traditional settlement
  • a waterfront community facing eviction
  • a squatter settlement displaced by luxury apartments
  • an emerging suburban community
  • a city centre slum

The study seeks to find out:

  • if e-certificates and land institutions are effective
  • whether citizens know about Lagos’ land reforms
  • which groups are most affected by covid-19

Our analysis of fallout from the pandemic will provide insights relevant to other kinds of shocks – such as disasters, conflict and climate change – on tenure security and will be applicable to other urban areas throughout Nigeria.

This research is conducted by the University of Lagos and the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu.

Photo by Rainer Wozny and Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung


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