Funding Line 2

Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform

Project Name Viral Times 2.0: Standing Her Ground
Commisioned by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country Nigeria
Implementing Organisation Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP) –
Duration November 2021 – April 2023

The Challenge

Marginalisation of Waterfront Settlements: Nearly half a million people live in self-built communities in Nigeria’s oil capital Port Harcourt. The informal waterfront settlements are among the city’s fastest growing and densest neighbourhoods. They are also the most precarious and the inhabitants experience structural exclusions due to restricted educational or employment opportunities, lack of access to health services and under-representation in traditional media. Especially women experience compounding vulnerabilities.

Forced Evictions and Mass Demolitions:The local government decided to demolish large parts of the city’s waterfront communities. Within the first two months of 2022, 22,000 people lost their homes with no formal notice and without receiving any kind of compensation.

Shifting Priorities: The absence of effective disease surveillance or health care increased the risk of COVID-19 infections for waterfront communities. However, the priorities and needs of the communities shifted from recovery of the pandemic towards recovery of the mass demolitions while simultaniously facing health issues. New health and security risks were introduced by the demolition and many community members were pushed further into poverty and exposed to endemic diseases.

The Objective

The goal of the project is to increase local resilience to the multiple and intersecting public health emergencies and to build the capacity of marginalized waterfront communities to claim their development priorities, tenure security and health issues. Also, the project aims to to catalyze the community’s voice by storytelling.

The Target Group

The project targets community members of Port Harcourt’s informal waterfront settlements that were already highly precarious before the mass demolitions. Women and girls from the waterfront communities are speficially targeted and contribute to the project as they experience compounding vulnerabilities and are disproportionately impacted by the health crisises, disruptions and dislocations.

About CMAP

CMAP mobilized in 2009 as an urgent response to an outbreak of violent mass demolitions and forced evictions in Port Harcourt. CMAP’s mission is to help waterfront slum communities of  Port Harcourt seen, heard and acknowledged as equal citizens with a vital role to play in shaping their city.


The Approach

Chicoco Cohort: Waterfront residents receive training to build a female-led cohort of media producers, researchers, and advocates. The capacity building programme includes audio visual media productions skills, public health awareness and advocacy as well as research and data collection skills.

Data Gathering: The project engages community members in gathering accurate and appropriate data by on the ground and drone-based data collection and infrastructure surveys. Also, an assessments of community services with a special focus on the impacts of the forced evictions and public health service delivery are conducted.

Changing the Narrative and Documenting Demolitions: Media is a key component of the project aiming to change the negative and exclusionary narratives about the waterfront communities and to deepen the discussion on public health, mass eviction and social justice. Therefore, media production and dissemination such as music, video and radio productions go in hand with editorial meetings and community cinema sceenings.

Additionally, a micro-website, including a narrative geographies online platform, is launched. The site increases the visibility of the mass evictions and their intersection with public health issues. In order to create the website’s content, storytelling and narrative building workshops are conducted, media is produced and digital encounters with duty bearers are initiated.

Piloting Renewable Energy: After the installation of a solar system, the project trains members of the Chicoco cohort and the community in technical skills for maintaining and managing the renewable energy system.

The Results

  1. 25 community members are trained in media production to build a female-led production team
  2. Over 15 waterfront community profiles including community histories and maps of community boundaries, structures, and infrastructure are completed
  3. A pilot renewable energy system installed, and 15 persons got trained in performing maintenance in the renewable energy system
  4. Over 15 public health and demolition advocacy programmes including radio programmes, photo essays, songs and videos got produced and disseminated

I am a singer, mapper, journalist, and technician with Chicoco. I couldn’t afford University, but with all I have learned in Chicoco and all the hands-on experience, I have come to know more than most graduates. I do my work with boldness and with joy. I imagine and dream about my future and the future of the project together. I see myself presenting in the Chicoco Studios, people hearing my voice on Chicoco Radio, singing, and acting, making unheard voices heard. Letting marginalised waterfront dwellers know that they can achieve far better than me if they take bold steps as I have.

Comfort Morris