The Flamingo Crescent and Santini informal settlements in Cape Town have endured a constant struggle for basic services and have exceptionally poor standards of water and sanitation.

Residents experience frequent shack fires and a bucket under a bed is the only toilet for some, as fear of deadly crime in the settlement prevents people walking distances to find a toilet.

However, in Flamingo Crescent, a settlement of 400 people, “Aunty” Marie has been instrumental in bringing about change and transforming the lives of her community. After years of development, working with Cape Town City and NGOs, Flamingo Crescent has been ‘upgraded;’ each shack now has its own toilet, tap and electricity supply.

In the Santini settlement, the community were due to upgrade this year, but local politics has spurred community debate and the project is at a standstill.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation