Photo of the Week: From raft to furniture

Timber Rafts in the Lagos Lagoon Obo Baba, Ebute Metta - Eyes of a Lagos Boy
Timber Rafts in the Lagos Lagoon Oko Baba, Ebute Metta – Eyes of a Lagos Boy

This Photo of the Week article is typed atop a table made from one of the numerous logs transported from the forests of the Niger Delta parts to the largest wood market in West Africa, Lagos Nigeria.

These logs are put together in their dozens to form formidable rafts. The process is aptly called ‘Timber Rafting’, that are carefully laid to float and be steered by Raftsmen on a body of water for hundreds of miles to the shores of Oko Baba – Ebutte Metta Lagos.

Timber rafts according to Wikipedia; “Could be of enormous proportions, sometimes up to 600 meters (2,000 ft) long, 50 meters (160 ft) wide, and stacked two meters (6 ft 7 in) high. Such rafts would contain thousands of logs. For the comfort of the raftsmen – which could number up to 500.”

These different range of timber brought in to the megacity are used for building construction, furniture making, plywood, particleboard and fiberboard utilized in diverse forms in packaging, paper and paper products including newsprint, stationery paper for writing, drawing, printing, photocopying, cardboards or paperboards.

Timber exploitation predates the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates in 1900 and the creation of Nigeria as a single entity and British colony in 1914. For example, a forestry department was established for the protectorate of Southern Nigeria in 1899, while a forestry proclamation was passed in 1901 to control concessions and regulate timber exploitation; two forest ordinances were also promulgated in 1908 and 1916, respectively, that contained further regulations for the control of timber exploitation.