Where do we go now? Some Musings on the Future

Although WaSH-UP as a programme in Langrug has met many challenges, it still has much potential as a solution to the water and sanitation crises both in Langrug and in South African informal settlements as a whole. For future projects there are new experiments to try both to remedy the problems created in Langrug as well as to apply to possible future WaSH-UP facilities.

Langrug: Looking Forward

In Langrug, there are several opportunities for continuing to move forward with the programme. Possibly, the attempt to introduce social services, at the same time as a complex Savings Group model and a sustainable small business in the facility, was too much to implement at once. Additionally, having a large and constantly changing number of community members in the working group makes it difficult to delegate specific work responsibilities in terms of caretaking, running services, and operating a business. Having a small, definite working group might alleviate such problems as people not showing up to work and managing to avoid responsibilities by expecting others to do them.

What about WaSH-UP? Ideas for When Expansion Is Ready

For future implementations of the WaSH-UP programme, there are several ways that could avoid the same challenges faced in Langrug. In the case of Langrug, implementing an overseeing managerial infrastructure for the facility is very difficult as there has been unreliable and ineffective management already in place for several years. Such a large change in operations was difficult to try to facilitate. Creating a successful and sustainable management system at the same time, or even before the construction of the physical facility, could avoid this issue. The overseeing organisation could manage both construction of the facility, and then later be in charge of sustaining the operations of the facility and expanding the services it offers. Alternatively, WaSH-UP could be implemented in communities that already have a strong form of existing social infrastructure, such as thriving Savings Group, which is resilient and flexible enough to withstand the increased stresses of constructing and operating a facility. Many of the challenges faced in making WaSH-UP in Langrug sustainable resulted from confusion over who was funding the facility and as a result, having the community be responsible for funding from the very beginning could result in less confusion and conflict over money. We believe the most important part of any future implementation of the project is to find a dedicated, responsible, and committed group who will be a part of the programme for an extended period of time and are motivated enough to train new members of the group. Of course, each of these options will be faced with their own new set of challenges to be overcome. However, by working together we can all resolve the WaSH crisis in South Africa!