Emergency Shelter - Forced Evictions in Nigeria

Martha Naadaa is a writer, a singer, a friend and a colleague of ours at Chicoco Collective. A few weeks ago, Martha packed up her room, with her mother and her children and left her home to the bulldozers. We need to put a roof over Martha's head so that she can care for her family and continue her vital work as an activist and artist. Martha lost her home, not her voice.
What happened with demolitions and forced evictions in Port Harcourt, Nigeria?
On January 19th, 2022, a government task force painted giant red crosses on the walls of people's homes in Diobu waterfront settlements in Port Harcourt, Nigeria's oil capital. Ten days later, soldiers and bulldozers flattened ten communities, some of which were founded over sixty years ago. In six days, the homes of up to 22,000 people were destroyed.
The governor declared 11 communities in the Diobu area for demolition, alleging people who lived there were criminals, or involved in illicit activities like illegal oil refining, aka “bunkering”.  But Martha and her neighbours had not identified their homes as crime hotspots. Many were still at home when the bulldozers arrived. Others came back from work to find their homes as rubble.  No formal notice was served. Residents received no compensation. No provision for resettlement or any other form of support was offered. Left to salvage what the bulldozers didn't crush, some residents are forced to sleep in the rubble, on mats, on broken doors, in the ruins of their former homes. They lost not only their home but also their livelihoods.
What do you do a week after your home and your possessions are destroyed by a bulldozer? What do you do two weeks after? Three weeks? For many, the struggle is only just beginning. Nearly half a million people live in self-built communities in Port Harcourt. All of these settlements have been threatened with demolition. Tens of thousands, including Martha and her family, have already been displaced.

Read about the impacts of the demolitions on The Guardian:  We woke to bulldozers Nigeria slum clearance leaves thousands homeless 

Our funding goals:
$1000- Martha Ereba Naadaa is a Chicoco participant and activist. She is an aspiring creative writer, training to be a radio reporter and presenter. Martha is a single mother and daughter from Ogoni. Martha needs urgent shelter support. We want to help keep a roof over her head so that she can keep speaking out for others like her.
You can read and hear some of Martha's work here:
$3000 - Chicoco emergency shelter
As the threat of demolition continues, many more of our team and project participants are likely to lose their homes. Furthermore, forced evictions and demolitions are just one of the emergencies that our team face. Your support would help us rent a two-bedroom apartment for Chicoco Collective participants to provide a temporary emergency shelter when they face overwhelming situations, such as forced evictions, floods, fires or local and domestic violence.
$1000 – Other Chicoco collaborators and friends affected
Isaac Odia, Mary Prince Henry, Dennis Amachree, and other Chicoco Collective members and friends have lost their homes or are at immediate risk. Such support could offset urgent living needs as well as contribute to strategic litigation.

Who is Chicoco Collective?
Martha volunteers for Chicoco Radio, a community station supporting overlooked urban communities make themselves seen and heard. Now we want to support her in finding shelter for herself and her children.
The Chicoco Collective is a volunteer group of waterfront residents and community activists who first joined together to fight forced evictions and demolitions over 10 years ago in Njemanze and Abonenma Wharf waterfront communities. They are a mix of musicians, journalists, technicians, photographers and mappers focused on challenging the stereotypes of their communities and bringing their voices across the city and around the world.
The Chicoco Team has been working tirelessly to stop these demolitions and document the stories of those affected. This has been one of the hardest stories our crew has covered: the demolition of our own communities. Follow Martha Naadaa's story as she tells it with us.
Chicoco Collective is supported by Collaborative Media Advocacy Initiative (CMAP). CMAP is a non-profit organization made up of journalists, musicians, urban planners, cinematographers, architects, engineers that is focused on building the capacity of Chicoco participants.
We cannot receive your support directly to our bank accounts in Nigeria, as GoFundMe doesn’t have that facility. So Barbara Summers, the Mapping and Planning lead of CMAP, the organisation that  supports us at Chicoco Collective, has kindly offered to receive the funds in her US account, then transfer directly to the beneficiaries in Port Harcourt. We are grateful for your support. It may seem small, but it will make a great impact in our lives. 

Learn more about how we are responding to Port Harcourt's urban crisis and working together for sustainable urban futures here:


Barbara Summers
Denver, CO

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