Mission Statement and Objectives

The students generated the Mission Statement and Objects below at the end of the prep term.  At the time of authorship, there was uncertainty to the nature of their project, and the primary location that they would be working in was still undetermined. The students planned to visit WaSH Facilities of all types in different communities to compare them and create an upgrading guidebook. Upon arrival in Cape Town the students were informed that the project would be based in Langrug. Of the next two months the students successfully completed six out of seven of the objectives below. The only uncompleted objective details the upgrading guidebook, which did not occur do to the opportunity to work with the Zwelitsha community.

Mission Statement

This project will assess the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WaSH) facility built in Langrug by the community and the 2012 WaSH team, and will develop strategies to improve and implement WaSH facilities as sustainable centrepieces in community upgrading. To achieve this goal, we have identified the following objectives:


1. Assess the state of the WaSH facility in Langrug and/or other communities and identify improvements that could be made in such facilities

From this assessment, we will identify aspects of the facility that can be improved and create a plan of how to implement such improvements.  We will ideally test some of our suggestions in the existing facility.  Additionally, we will identify aspects of the facility that work well, and include them in suggestions for future facilities.

2. Evaluate costs and benefits of the Langrug WaSH facility from construction to daily maintenance and compare with other approaches used in the Cape Town area

We will take on a systematic approach to assess the costs and benefits of maintaining a WaSH facility. First, we will conduct research on economic analysis of simple facilities to potentially use as models for our WaSH facility’s cost and benefit analysis. In order to achieve economic sustainability, the benefits of construction, management, operations, and maintenance would preferably outweigh the costs.

  • Learn how to evaluate the costs and benefits of a facility
  • Research on economic analysis models of a WaSH facility or a facility of the like
  • Identify and quantify factors such as construction, management, operations, maintenance costs, etc.
  • Evaluate benefits that are much harder to quantify (e.g., reduced replacement costs, and then really hard things like reduced sick days at work or school, etc.)

When we arrive in Cape Town, we will attempt to closely evaluate the costs and benefits of a WaSH facility using the financial statement chart below. First, we would like to gather information on the funding for the facility. Then, we would like to look at the costs in three separate categories: management, maintenance, and operations. It would give us an idea of the varying cost in a facility from initial capital to operation and maintanence costs. Also, this evaluation would help us keep record of any products or services that are vital to the continuation of the facility. We will assess the importance and usage of these items to efficiently reduce any unnecessary costs and maintain economic sustainability. The benefits are complicated and difficult to quantify. When we interact with the stakeholders, we will use a questionnaire form that could help us further evaluate the benefits of a WaSH facility.

3. Explore the potential expansion of the caretaker’s role in facilities’ social programmes

The caretaker is an integral part of the WaSH facility. Depending on the community’s dynamics, the caretaker may take on a role of a community leader to promote hygienic practices and help facilitate the centre’s operations. In order to outline the role of the caretaker, we will assess the caretaker’s role in past CTPC projects and case studies around the world. We plan to interview the current caretakers of the facility to learn about their interpretation of their responsibilities. We will also reach out to the CORC representatives to see if the current caretakers are meeting their expectations. Most importantly, we will have conversations with community members to get an idea of their perspective on the caretakers. Building a strong bond with the community and observing the community’s dynamics would also help incorporate the caretakers role into the facility.

4. Develop and implement prototypes of social programmes and technical improvements

Using the list of alternative WaSH designs and recommendations from the community, municipality, and our sponsor, we plan to develop and construct prototypes if time and opportunity permit. These prototypes will serve the community and stakeholders as examples for future projects, and be starting points for expansion as well as renovations to existing facilities. It will be important to involve the community in the construction of these prototypes, and we plan to do this by understanding the community’s want and needs in these prototypes, which will be learned through interviews. We also plan to involve the community in the actual building of the prototypes. In expanding the social role of the facility, we will work with caretakers to prototype and implement programs centered around public health.

5. Explore alternative designs for WaSH infrastructure, including but not limited to toilets, taps and aesthetic considerations

Using a combination of our background research on potential toilet and tap designs and feedback from the community on their preferences, we plan on coming up with several alternatives for different components of water and sanitation facilities and infrastructure. These alternative designs include toilet design, tap design, facility aesthetics, and possibly other WaSH considerations. When considering alternatives in water and sanitation, it is important to account for the social, economic, environmental, and institutional sustainability of different designs. We plan to determine the options that balance these components most efficiently. It is also important to consider the cost efficiency of the facility. We plan on analyzing the advantages and drawbacks of these alternatives in order to provide future WaSH efforts with the blueprints for optimal facilities.

6. Develop a guide for informal settlement upgrading of WaSH facilities

Using the information we gathered in our research, assessments, and any information we receive from our sponsors, we will combine the alternative designs for WaSH infrastructure in a guide for CORC to use.  This guide will talk about different kinds of communities with different levels of resources and what facilities will be ideal for each situation.

7. Create a plan to implement smaller WaSH facilities in more areas

With the help of our sponsors we will hopefully identify a community prepared for a satellite facility and identify ideal locations in the community to build. We will design a structure to be used as a satellite facility and enable the community to implement the design after we leave.