MASSIMO RUMI
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Ganvie', the Venice of Africa

GANVIE’

The Venice of Africa

GANVIE’

The Venice of Africa 

In the sixteenth century the Tofinu people built a stilt village on lake Nokoue’ , to evade capture by the Fon warriors who were looking for slaves for sale to European traders. While there were few physical impediments protecting the ancestor’s of today’s Ganvie village from outside attack, Fon religious practice forbade their raiders from advancing on any peoples dwelling on water. Today Ganvie’ is a village of 35.000 people that stands on stilts in the middle of lake Nokoue. It’s Africa largest lake village, where the only possible means of transport is simple wooden boats cut out of tree trunks. People here rely mostly on fishing for their survival and small artificial patches of land have been built besides the houses in order for the kids to be able to walk and play. The unique village is completely sustainable, but because of the absence of a sewage system the water is becoming more and more polluted.