Langrug: Out of the Ashes


April 2, 2015

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Where are they now?

“Some are lost in the fire, but some are built from it.”

Langrug is a community that CTPC students have been working with for several years now, where the first WaSH facility has been established and a second facility is in the process of being constructed. Over the last few months, much has been happening in the settlement. In February, Langrug suffered a fire that destroyed over 70 shacks in the C and D blocks. One of the dangers of settlement living is that a fire that begins in one shack can quickly spread to destroy many at an incredible rate. There was no damage to the established WaSH facility, or to the one that is currently being constructed. However hundreds of people had lost what little they had.
Upon hearing the news, WPI Cape Town students past, present, and future immediately began rallying support, starting a fundraiser that raised over $1300 for the settlement. This money will go towards rebuilding and development efforts for those affected by the fire.
The residents of an informal settlement have resilience that is truly remarkable. Within a day of the fire, people were already gathering what they could and beginning to rebuild. In some ways, this fire could bring benefit to the settlement, as it will provide incentive for reblocking and upgrading. Meanwhile, the new WaSH facility continues to make progress–a two-story structure that will have toilets, sinks, and laundry on one level, and community space on the other. We look forward to seeing their progress!

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