Zero Point House

Umi Baden-Powell
Okun Makoko – Umi Baden-Powell in collaboration with Tolu Odusanya

Okun Makoko aims to power (okun in Yoruba) the community Makoko by considering alternative approaches to cycles of energy production and consumption.

Makoko was founded by the Olaiya family in the early 18th century. Originally a small fishing community, it has since grown to be one of the biggest self-organised settlements in Nigeria; with an estimated 300,000 residents. Due to lack of governmental infrastructure and support, Makoko has no waste management, sewerage or electricity despite the fact that Nigeria is the biggest oil producer on the African Continent.

The design proposal considers biogas as a viable energy alternative for Makoko and emerged by reflecting upon the intersection of three fundamental issues for Makoko residents – a surplus of waste, a shortage of energy supply and the need for economic employment. The methane-rich waters of the Lagos Lagoon offer plenty of energy to be harnessed; the process of biogas energy transformation would cleanse the polluted waters, produce organic fertilizer, create a sustainable energy supply and new business opportunities for residents  – taking them one step closer to self-empowerment.

The project is divided into three phases: designing an appropriate methodology, executing a minimal viable intervention, and speculating on a community-wide implementation. The phases are intended to maximise the project’s ability to mobilise from the ground up. The residents of Makoko are enabled and incentivised to economically tackle the structural waste issues that impact their community through the direct ownership of civic infrastructure.

The Impact Framework manifested from asking what lessons could be taken from this project and how they could be shared. The platform utilises tools, methodologies and case studies from diverse academic fields in an open source app.


Umi Baden-Powell, Zero Point House
Umi Baden-Powell, Zero Point House
Umi Baden-Powell, Zero Point House
Umi Baden-Powell, Zero Point House