Water & Sanitation

Solutions for the Future Sustainability of Water and Sanitation in Monwabisi Park, Cape Town

Population growth in both urban and rural environments has forced the displacement of millions of people into informal settlements. A worldwide poverty and sanitation crisis exists where nearly 40% of the world’s population defecates in buckets, exacerbating the spread of bacteria and viruses. Attempts have been made to remedy this situation, but organizations are faced with a lack of sufficient data, resources, organ ization, and monetary support.

Water TapSouth Africa is one of the many countries burdened with a sanitation crisis in its informal set tlements. Land controversies and discrimination laws led to the relocation of many into squatter camps. These unregulated towns were erected quickly with little infrastructure and without adequate resources. Because their rapid creation was without official planning, the squatter camps received little government support leaving water and sanitation services scarce. There is limited access to water pipes, clean drinking water, toilets, showers, sinks, and drainage pipes.

Recognizing the immense problems facing the residents of these informal settlements, government organizations and non-profit groups have attempted to improve the standard of living in these shanty towns. The City of Cape Town Water and Sanitation Department (CTWSD) has set basic requirements for water sanitation in informal areas. The number of water pipes and toilets are regulated based on the densities of houses. Basic emergency services are provided, usually in the form of buckets to dispose human waste. One viable method that has been attempted by the Shaster Foundation in Monwabisi Park is the implementation of eco-friendly sanitation systems such as anaerobic toilets and biodigesters. However, when residents are unaware of proper operation and maintenance of these facilities, they fall into disrepair.Abolution Blocks 

The goal of this project, narrated and organized in the following chapter, is to improve the quality of life in Monwabisi Park by creating a design for a replicable public water and sanitation system t hat upholds the principles of permaculture and sustainability. In turn, general health and safety in the settlement will improve while environmental risks are reduced. Working closely with the residents in order to establish an understanding of the project and its goals in the community is essential so as to increase the effectiveness of results. Water and sanitation service points, hazards, and other water-related infrastructure are mapped and various analytical data is deduced likewise. The various sanitary facilities in Monwabisi Park are identified and the costs, benefits, and problems associated with these services are assessed based on social, health, and cultural perspectives. It is also essential to work with the local community to help create a water and sanitation specialist who can act as a liaison with city agencies to aid and in-crease cross communication. Finally, a plan for a communal facility that integrates water services with eco-friendly principles is designed and proposed in the integrated planning chapter.

Meet the 2008 Water & Sanitation Team

For More Information:

2008 Water & Sanitation Executive Summary

Envisioning Indlovini – Water & Sanitation