The Beginning

The WPI students began work in Langrug in late October of 2012. Upon their arrival in Langrug, they expected to be working on the analysis of the social factors behind water and sanitation facility misuse and vandalism within the settlement. However, the students found that toilet misuse was not as severe a problem as greywater management issues within Langrug. For this reason, the project focus was redefined around the development of greywater management solutions.

From the start, community participation was deemed key, and all project work was carried out through partnership with four community members, called co-researchers: Trevor Masiy, Sinazo Ndabambi, Sibongile Xenxe, and Kholeka Xuza. Furthermore, a strong partnership between the WPI Students, the community of Langrug, NGO’s SDI and CORC, and the Municipality of Stellenbosch formed the foundation of the work in Langrug.

Having identified greywater as a serious issue in Langrug, the WPI students and co-researchers determined a set of goals for their work. These goals were as follows:

  1. Set an example for the community by implementing a greywater intervention in a part of Langrug which had a severe greywater problem
  2. Encourage extensive community participation not only in implementation of greywater interventions, but also in planning and maintenance
  3. Develop greywater systems that will serve as sustainable, long-term solutions. Also, ensure that the process by which interventions are implemented is sustainable, so that greywater systems can be continually upgraded throughout the settlement.
  4. Equip the co-researchers so they will be able to continue aiding future greywater intervention work