Hi there! My name is Latifah, I am a civil engineer from Brooklyn, New York. I moved to South Africa about a year ago, not long before the start of South Africa's first lockdown.
I have been doing my research into Informal settlements, and how they are built to ensure a safe and easy access to water and electricity. As part of my research, I've also been doing some volunteer work in the township of Alexandra, Johannesburg. The NGO (non-governmental organization) I've been work for deals with problems faced by these informal settlements and it is of no surprise to me that access to clean water is one of the biggest problems. It saddens me to see the condition that some of those people live in. Coming from mid-class America, I've personally never seen conditions this bad before.
The cover picture I took shows one of the locals filling her bucket with water from a water tank that the community bought for itself! They each contributed what little they had to buy this tank. This community has been fighting local municipal for years, asking for them to provide proper water supplies for them or at least a few water taps around the settlement so that they have the water they need. Officials and local authorities are yet to come up with a solution for them. So, something needs to be done for them in the mean time. What’s going on in South Africa does not have the recognition and awareness it deserves. These South Africans are battling two wars; COVID and lack of water.
Although not much can be done yet, I am raising $1000 to buying 2 new water tanks to supply water to about 50 families in the small part of the settlement that I am working in. It's not a lot but it will make a difference. One 5000l water tank costs about $350 (R5200) at Makro and so together they will cost $700 (R10 400). The other $300 (R4600) will go towards installation and maintenance. A company my organization approached has agreed to filling the tanks for them on a monthly basis, free of charge, they just need us to provide the tanks.
You can read about some of the efforts the City of Johannesburg has made to help some communities. We have approached the City to provide tanks for these people but they say that it would be a while before that happens. This is why we decided to take action and make this fundraiser:
I will be leaving South Africa to go back to my home country in June 2022. I'd appreciate if we could get this up and running before then.
Thank you for your contribution (if you decide to donate) and thank you for taking the time to read this.
I would be happy if you could use the share button to share about my project, irrespective of if you can contribute financially. You sharing this project is equally appreciated.