Floating school in Lagos lagoon collapses under heavy rains

admin   •   June 9, 2016   •   908

Wednesday, June 08, 2016 Residents work to dismantle the Makoko floating school after it collapsed in the Makoko fishing community on the Lagos lagoon, Nigeria June 8, 2016. No casuality was recorded in the incident. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Residents work to dismantle the Makoko floating school after it collapsed in the Makoko fishing community on the Lagos lagoon, Nigeria June 8, 2016. No casuality was recorded in the incident. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

A floating school built to withstand storms and floods at a lagoon in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos and educate children from a nearby slum has collapsed only seven months after its official opening.

The aid-funded Makoko Floating School offered free education to children from nearby huts on stilts. Most of their parents fish for a living and, like most of the megacity’s 23 million residents, lack a reliable electricity and water supply.

Heavy rains brought down the pyramid-shaped wooden school, built on a platform held afloat by hundreds of plastic barrels, on Tuesday. None of its nearly 50 pupils were in the building when it collapsed, officials said.

Classes had already been moved to another location in late March after heavy downpours at the start of the rainy season began to affect classes.

“It is not only the floating school that collapsed. It collapsed many houses surrounding the floating school,” said David Shemede, Makoko resident and brother to the school’s director.

Building collapses are a common problem in the West African nation, sometimes due to the use of poor materials and weak enforcement of regulations. At least 30 people died when a building collapsed in an upmarket Lagos district in March.

The school was built to adapt to changing water levels and withstand the storms and floods that lash Lagos in the four-month-long rainy season.

Its Nigerian architect Kunle Adeyemi said in a statement that the Makoko community was considering upgrading the structure and rebuilding an improved version of the school.

Makoko was established as a fishing village hundreds of years ago but climate change and rapid urbanization are now threatening its way of life.

The school was officially opened in November 2015 after being in use for more than a year beforehand. It took three years to build and catered to children coming from the only English-speaking school in the area.

Pupils traveled to the school by canoe.

(Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Ulf Laessing and Tom Heneghan)

Peru battered by heavy rains, floods

UNTV News   •   February 11, 2020

Heavy rain pounded areas of Peru over the weekend, causing rivers to overflow and highways to flood.

Rain battered the northern town of Tumbes, 1017 kilometers (632 miles) north of Lima, near the Ecuador border, flooding streets and cutting off traffic in areas where neither vehicles nor mass transit could get through.

In Junin, 204 km (127 miles) east of the capital city of Lima, the rain triggered mudslides and caused dozens of houses to be damaged. Fields flooded and the Canchamayo and Perene rivers overflowed.

This man, who lives in Junin, complained that emergency personnel did not respond to calls for help during the worst of the storms which occurred overnight.

“Last night, we were all asking for help but no one came. We called citizen security; we called civil defence — nothing, nothing. They didn’t come until morning when a neighbour’s wall fell down,” he said.

Peru is in the midst of its rainy season, which usually extends through April. (Reuters)

(Production: Carlos Valdez, Arlene Eiras)

9 women and girls freed in Nigeria from ‘baby factory’

Jeck Deocampo   •   October 1, 2019

Police in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, announced on Monday (September 30) that they had freed 19 women and girls from captivity. They say they suspect most of them were abducted and impregnated by captors planning to sell their babies.

The girls and women, aged from 15 to 28, were brought from all over Nigeria with promises of work as domestic staff, officers said. Four babies were also found.

A spokesman for the police, Bala Elkana, said male children were sold by the traffickers for 500,000 naira ($1,630) each, with girls being sold for 300,000 naira ($980).

“Baby factories”, as such premises are widely known, are most common in parts of eastern Nigeria.

The spokesman said the raid had taken place on September 19 but had been kept secret to enable the police to apprehend suspects. Two women aged 40 and 54 were arrested in connection with the case and police are still looking for a third.

One of the freed women, who did not want to be named, said she had been impregnated by her boyfriend and told by her aunt that there was a job for her in Lagos.

She said a woman to whom she was introduced to had induced labour when she was seven months pregnant. Her baby died shortly after.

Elkana said the state criminal investigation department would take over the case and was working with other agencies to resettle the women, girls and their babies.

Last week, around 400 boys and men, some as young as five and many in chains and scarred from beatings, were rescued from a building in the northern city of Kaduna that purported to be an Islamic school. (REUTERS)

(Production: Seun Sanni/Angela Ukomadu /Hywel Davies)

Mont Blanc glacier feared to be on brink of collapse

Jeck Deocampo   •   September 25, 2019

Italian authorities in the northwest region of Courmayeur, Aosta closed roads and evacuated mountain huts on Wednesday (September 25) after experts warned that part of a glacier on Mont Blanc could collapse.

According to officials, about 250,000 cubic meters of ice threatens to come down in the form of ice avalanches from the Planpincieux glacier along the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif, after technical structures of the Safe Mountain Foundation registered an acceleration in the displacement rate of the glacier that has reached a speed of 50-60 centimeters per day.

The Mayor of Courmayeur, the nearest town and a major ski resort, decided to close roads in the Val Ferret on the Italian side of Mont Blanc and mountain huts in the Rochefort area were evacuated as a precaution.

According to local authorities, there was no threat to residential areas or tourist facilities but residents have been informed of the possible scenarios in case of collapse.

The rise of global temperatures due to global warming is causing mountain glaciers to melt and the retreat of polar ice sheets.

The problem is affecting the Mont Blanc massif, Western Europe’s highest mountain range, containing eleven major independent peaks, each over 4,000 meters in height. (REUTERS)

(Production: Antonio Denti, Fabiano Franchitti)

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