Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation. Its 150+ million people makes up almost a fifth of the continent. Though it is one of the world’s top oil producing countries, over 90 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty. Institutions at every level of the country are renowned for corruption, rendering the benefit of the oil wealth nearly nil for the country’s most vulnerable people.
The poverty of slums within Lagos, the country’s largest city, is beyond comprehension: hundreds of thousands of the city’s poorest people are jammed into tiny rooms without water or sewage systems. Water from intense seasonal rains and the tides of the nearby ocean bay flood the slums leaving dirty water filled with sewage and rubbish to surround even homes and schools, exposing children to bacterial disease and malaria.
At 3.6%, the adult HIV-prevalence rate is low compared to countries in southern Africa. But due to Nigeria’s large population, it ranks as the country with the third largest number of people living with HIV in the world.
Hands at Work began operating in Nigeria in 2006 and works in 5 communities in the country’s south, including the hyper-urban slums of Lagos and the rural villages outside the city of Ibadan.
Long-term volunteer, Tommy Malster from the UK, recently visited some of these communities. We have uploaded a few of his photos to give you a glimpse of what daily life amongst Nigeria's poorest looks like: