After Lagos State government officials evicted thousands of impoverished residents from Tarkwa Bay, a Lagos slum, many were left homeless with nowhere else to go. People who had spent their entire lives on Tarkwa Bay were being evacuated, with no alternative accommodation provided.
Said to be an ‘oasis’ from the hustle and bustle of life on the Lagos Island, Tarkwa Bay is located near the Lagos Harbour and only a 20-minute boat ride from Victoria Island. It was home to at least 4,500 people and a popular location for fun-seekers until it was demolished by the Nigerian navy.
Nigerians have welcomed the news with complaints and condemnation of a government that wants to reduce the crime rate in the state, yet plunges poor people into more poverty and makes people homeless and displayed in less than 48hours.
However, all hope is not lost yet. (Former) Tarkwa Bay residents marched through the streets of Lagos to the office of the governor in Alausa. Some Nigerians have also stepped in to help the displaced residents of Tarkwa Bay.
So have you been thinking of how to extend a helping hand to the residents of Tarkwa Bay but you’re not sure of how you can help? We’ve got you!
Talk about it… Don’t Stop Talking About it.
When we keep quiet in the face of impunity, we give room for it to thrive. We can help the displaced residents of Tarkwa Bay by talking about their plight and bringing it to better light. If you have a platform where you can tell their stories, kindly do so. If you are a lawyer and can take up their case, please do so. If you can get the attention of higher authorities who can waddle into it, then do so. In all, it is important to not keep quiet when the government makes a decision that can destroy the livelihood of people.
Some Nigerians have also risen to help the displayed residents of Tarkwa Bay by calling for donations to help them get settled. You can make monetary contributions or set up a GoFundMe account so people can make donations to help the residents.
Provide Relief Materials
From socks to gloves, bedsheets, clothing, shoes, wrappers, food, drinks, food ingredients, soap, cooking utensils, toiletries and so on, it is important to help displayed get settled. Not sure of where to begin? Start by searching your store or wardrobe for things you are no longer using. Rather than throw them away, donate them to the displayed residents of Tarkwa Bay. You can also shop for the littlest things you can afford – like tissue paper and cotton wools.
Get them accommodation
‘Accommodation’ could be a little storage space you are not using for the meantime or the boys-quarters that have been empty for months now or that piece of farmland you are currently not using. These displayed people need a place to lay their heads and you can extend a helping hand by offering your empty storage space for a period of time – until they can find their feet and be independent.
Reach out to them
Sometimes, knowing that someone out there cares about you can bring relief. If you are not buoyant enough to contribute financially. Reaching out to them is an amazing way of telling them that you understand what they’re going through and you care. Knowing exactly what they need can also propel you to reach out to people who you believe can/will help them.
Remember that it is the little things that count. Your N1,000 or N500 will go a long way. Your used clothes and blankets will also go a long way. Noodles, salt, Spaghetti, and so on will go a long way too. You don’t have to donate millions or wait until you are very rich to help people. Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.
Let’s make the world a better place for all of us.