This is a guest Blog written by: Francis C. Anyaegbu, Africa Region Representative, UN-HABITAT Youth Advisory Board. Follow him on Twitter: @francisanyaegbu
During the 5-11 May MY World Global Week of Action, UNHABITAT, Youth Pioneers For Development, and various Youth Groups teamed up to collect votes in Makoko, a slum in Lagos, Nigeria. We decided to adopt the three suggestions for engagement suggested in the toolkit:
Our motivation for choosing Makoko community was drawn from our recognition of the neigbourhood as a slum with lots of residents from disadvantaged backgrounds whose voices needed to be heard. The population of residents according to Wikipedia is estimated to be over 80,000 and interestingly this demography was not enumerated in Nigeria’s last census exercise in 2007. We are also aware that in most cases, like other major slums in Lagos most of them usually do not have their voices captured in developmental initiatives.
For the school, we felt it was important to also capture the voices of students to enrich the survey.
We were only able to collect about 103 offline votes out of which about nearly as 40 votes came from the Residents of Makoko slum neigbourhood while the remaining came from Students of Yaba College of Technology, a institution of higher learning about 20 minutes away from the Community and 5 minutes away from the University of Lagos. One of the reasons we were not able to get much votes as anticipated from Makoko was because of general apathy for surveys. Resident of the slum settlement were concerned about any adverse effects that may ensue from the collation of the survey. But we were only able to allay the fears of a few with the kind assistance of the community Youth leader.
For Makoko, we recorded significant votes for “Better job opportunities,” “Better health care,” “A good education “as well as access to clean water and sanitation.
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