The Collaborative Urban Resilience Exchange: How KYC data & partnerships support more inclusive development outcomes
Resilience building has emerged as an important priority for cities worldwide. With an increasing number of cities developing Resilience Strategies, there is a pressing need to understand how these strategies intersect with issues of exclusion and poverty. In cities with large portions of their population living in informal settlements it is critical that more attention is given to understanding these intersections. Triggered by a collaboration established under the Community of Practice for Resilience Measurement , SDI, 100 Resilient Cities and Itad have begun this work.
Given the centrality of peer-to-peer exchange in its learning approach, SDI decided to host a Collaborative Urban Resilience Exchange in its recently launched Know Your City Resource Center in Woodstock, Cape Town. As part of the exchange, which took place from July 16th-18th 2018, SDI brought together city officials and community organizations involved in resilience planning and implementation in Cape Town, Accra and Durban. The exchange supported reflection by officials and communities from the three cities about how community-collected data on informal settlements and partnerships between government and organized communities (a package of strategies known as Know Your City by SDI and its partners) can support resilient city strategies capable of generating more inclusive city development outcomes.
Learn more about the reflections and outcomes of the exchange by clicking on the image above.
Clean Cooking for Improved Health in Cape Town
As of 2017, the South African Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP) has organised 626 groups in 51 cities and towns and works in close collaboration with the Informal Settlements Network (ISN) as part of the SA SDI Alliance. This year, the Alliance organised around the issue of unclean cooking. Toxic smoke from indoor cooking with charcoal and paraffin kills 4.3 million people annually and primarily affects women and children. At a forum in Cape Town it was clear how much the issue resonated with leaders from the city’s shack settlements. The women explained the significant challenges posed by unclean cooking and heating. They explained the paraffin they use for cooking and heating causes chest pain and congestion. They lamented the frequent accidents, injuries, and shack fires caused by paraffin cookers and heaters, reciting terrible stories of injury and property loss. They explained how expensive paraffin and kerosene becomes in the winter (when distributors increase their prices) and how far they have to travel to purchase it. They explained that they prefer to buy fuel in small quantities due to unreliable incomes. The upfront cost of a gas canister is also prohibitive and the tanks are hard to carry around settlements. They said electricity is expensive and is frequently cut off in the settlements. At a community forum convened by the federation and ISN in the neighbourhood of Gugulethu, a demonstration of the Philips clean cook stove was held and the community cooked lunch on the stove to test out the technology. It was a chance to interrogate the stove’s affordability, functionality, and fuel.
Once it was agreed that the stove was safe and cost effective, SDI and the SA SDI Alliance launched a joint venture under the title of “Partnership on Clean Cooking Projects in Cape Town”. The collaboration brings together a social enterprise, Clean Cooking Revolution (CCR), and communities in the SA SDI Alliance with the intention of scaling CCR’s operations into new markets. The so-called “last mile distribution” challenge is well known in the renewable energy sector and many federations are exploring ways to collaborate with businesses to bring quality products into the informal settlement market and create business opportunities for their communities. To this end, the collaboration aims to pilot an innovative model of community part-ownership – or equity – in a social enterprise. SDI is providing project level support, assistance in the identification of new settlements with a demonstrated need for improved cookstoves, as well as strategic advice to the SA SDI Alliance regarding how to structure a recoverable investment with CCR.
In South Africa, the partnership with CCR has the potential to lead to additional collaboration in the area of stove manufacturing. The federation will feed knowledge back to CCR about product user experience and adaptations that women in informal settlements prioritise. Through the Know Your City TV program, youth from shack settlements have been equipped with media training in order to document the present state of cooking in their settlements and produce film and media to raise awareness of the dangers of unclean cooking. Using data gathered through profiling and enumeration and SenseMaker ® work, they are able to target the message effectively.
The SA SDI Alliance’s efforts contribute to improved city resilience by reducing human vulnerability resulting from indoor air pollution and fire hazards. Their efforts improve access to clean energy and build skills and livelihoods among the urban poor.
This post is part of a series of case studies from our 2017 Annual Report titled ‘The Road to Resilience.’ Emerging from the field of ecology, ‘resilience’ describes the capacity of a system to maintain or recover from disruption or disturbance. Cities are also complex systems and a resilience framework addresses the inter- connectedness of formal and informal city futures. Moreover, it enables a nuanced reflection on the nature of shocks and chronic stressors – recognising that the latter are particularly acute in slum dweller communities and that this critically undermines the entire city’s economic, social, political, and environmental resilience.As with personal resilience, city resilience demands awareness, acknowledgment of reality, and a capacity to move beyond reactivity to responses that are proactive, thoughtful, and beneficial to the whole. The most enlightened individuals and cities will be those that understand their responsibility to the most vulnerable and to the planet. Our 2017 Annual Report showcases some of SDI’s achievements over the past year on the road to resilience. Click here for the full report.
SDI Invests in Income-Generating Community Resource Centres: The case of 302 Albert Road
By Merhawi Okbaselasie, SDI Secretariat
In this fast-changing environment, NGOs are becoming particularly concerned about financial sustainability, and SDI is no exception. The challenge is how to become financially sustainable without drifting from SDI’s core mission of realising inclusive and resilient cities that improve the lives of the urban poor. SDI achieves this core mission through investing in the urban poor’s self-organising and by supporting them in exploring alternatives to evictions. This includes land tenure, access to basic services, and housing solutions. There are many successes that attest to the effectiveness of SDI’s bottom-up approach to urban development.
However, for SDI to continue to fulfil its mission and to ensure the sustained effectiveness of its network, some level of financial self-sufficiency is vital. The SDI Secretariat has long recognized this challenge and has been making some strides in diversifying the income sources of the network. Efforts include broadening strategies to attract donor finance (e.g. individuals of high-net worth, challenge funds, and impact investments), generating funds from the general public through campaigns and direct marketing (e.g. challenge funds, crowd funding), as well as generating revenue through market-based opportunities linked to SDI’s core work. One such effort is the recent development of the property at 302 Albert Road into a ‘commercial hub’ and ‘community resource centre’.
SDI, through its investment arm Inqolobane Trust, has recently acquired an old commercial property situated at 302 Albert Road in Woodstock, Cape Town. A well-located, diverse and vibrant area close to the Cape Town CBD, Woodstock is one of the oldest working-class residential areas in Cape Town. Unlike many other neighbourhoods, residents in Woodstock managed to avoid the brutal forced evictions of the Apartheid era. However, over the last two decades as the city has grown, Woodstock has increasingly been subject to a process of gentrification with poorer communities facing more surreptitious forms of evictions.
The premises at 302 Albert were in dire need of maintenance and upgrading. SDI adopted a ‘’light touch’’ approach and invested in upgrading and restoring the heritage qualities of the old Victorian building (built between 1900 and 1905), and refurbishing industrial structures at the rear of the property. The efforts also included expanding and renovating the existing central courtyard to create a communal space with seating and greenery. The design interventions were approved by the Western Cape Heritage Resource Authority.
302 Albert is designed to function as both a ‘commercial hub’ and a ‘social hub’. Because Albert Road functions as a high street, commercial activities are located on the ground floor ensuring accessibility and visual connection to street level commercial activities. There are two 70 square metre retail shops: a jewelry shop and an art gallery along Albert Road, with an open plan studio above the two shops housing the SDI Secretariat’s new office. Accessed via a paved access way and an internal courtyard, the rear of the property houses a ground floor workshop and a restaurant, with a large open plan studio above the restaurant. This studio will soon become a hub for SDI’s Know Your City TV (KYC) programme.
As mentioned above, the objectives of the 302 Albert development are both commercial and social. The first objective is to generate financial returns to contribute to the financial sustainability of SDI. To this end, the SDI Secretariat invested in upgrading and branding of the centre to position 302 as a landmark along the Albert Road corridor. These efforts significantly improved the quality and appeal of the ground-floor rental spaces and helped the centre function as a ‘commercial hub’.
302 is expected to generate an annual income that, in year one, will translate into an 8.5% gross yield. The upgrading efforts also included investment in grid connected rooftop solar PV and water tanks to harvest rainwater. The energy generated from solar is expected to reduce the total annual electricity costs of the centre by about 20%.
The second and equally important objective is to create a social space with two key functions: Firstly, the space will function as a hub for SDI’s Know Your City (KYC) programme. The emphasis will be on youth development through the KYC TV programme which provides training to youth from informal settlements in photography, media, storytelling, and film production. Secondly, the space will become a space for dialogue for communities and civil society organisations in the area to engage on critical issues affecting the urban poor, particularly forced evictions, which is at the centre of SDI’s core mission.
SDI’s main focus will continue to be the support of the urban poor in fighting evictions and accessing land tenure, basic services, and housing opportunities. Because of the nature of its work SDI will always require donor financing. However, the efforts made at developing 302 Albert using its own reserves highlight that SDI is serious about diversifying its funding sources and ensuring long term survival and effectiveness of its network. The challenge now is to scale up the successes achieved at 302 Albert across the SDI network. The idea is that these community resource centres – with emphasis on youth development – will be anchored around the Know Your City programme throughout the network, delivering on both social and developmental outcomes and generating financial returns for the SDI network.
Cape Town and Kampala Youth set up SDI’s Know Your City TV
**Cross-posted from the SA SDI Alliance website**
By Andiswa Meke and Yolande Hendler (on behalf of CORC)
Meet eight young storytellers, driven by their love for the arts and commitment to change in their communities. From 31 August – 5 September 2015 eight youth members of the National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda (NSDFU) and the South African Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP) came together in Cape Town to be trained in community-based videography and filmmaking. The youth members from Kampala’s NSDFU and Cape Town’s FEDUP are both affiliates of the Shack / Slum Dwellers International (SDI) network.
The Know Your City Platform
The training formed part of SDI’s Know Your City (KYC) campaign on bottom-up and community generated data collection. As a global campaign, KYC seeks to collect and consolidate city-wide data in informal settlements as the basis for inclusive development between the urban poor and local governments. It draws its strength from data collected at the settlement level that is aggregated on a city-wide scale and used to make compelling arguments for more inclusive service delivery and informal settlement upgrading. Read more here.
Know Your City TV (KYC TV), on the other hand, seeks to ground this data in personal and everyday experiences, recorded by young people who live in informal settlements, with a sharp and localized understanding of their surroundings and communities, with a ‘direct’ link to the stories themselves. It is evident that data on informal settlements only becomes alive when voices, images and personal histories accompany it. The youth teams selected for the KYC TV training in Cape Town were drawn from two of SDI ‘s four learning centers: Cape Town and Kampala. KYC TV also grew from a previous Cape Town based youth exchange between SDI youth representatives from Uganda, Kenya, India and South Africa in February 2015. During this time youth members were exposed to community-generated video making, alongside James Tayler, filmmaker of the Bodaboda Thieves who facilitated the training during the recent KYC TV workshop week.
A Glimpse Into a Videographer’s Training
On the first day of training, the group was tasked to find ideas that they could use for making a possible film – the first threads of weaving a story. Zandile Nomnga, from South Africa’a FEDUP, shared an idea of documenting her youth group’s use of art, drama and dance to build up young people in her informal settlement in Khayelitsha. When the rest of the group had pitched their ideas, some practical camera introduction began. For some it was a first-time engagement with hands-on camera experience. Day two was a fascinating excursion into all things technical: how a digital camera works, shot types and ratios, lighting tips, how to conduct interviews…. with the KYCTV ‘Pocket Film School’ booklet a constant reference point. A nearby park in Cape Town allowed for some first experimental footage.
With a wealth of background knowledge, the next two days were ones of exploring Cape Town, in its vastly different areas, looking to capture variety and the city’s characteristically stark social and political contrasts. The first was spent in Cape Town’s City Centre: arriving at the central station, the group made its way through a number of central locations in Cape Town – always with a keen focus on light, texture, shapes and colour, a practice in finding snippets and scenes that would make good film footage. They carefully chose the Golden Acre and Green Market Square, having encountered a group of street performers playing soulful music. The group took turns filming the performance, with James instructing and coaching them about what angles are suitable and how to capture imagery of moving people.
In the early hours of Thursday morning the group gathered its equipment and headed to Makhaza, located in Khayelitsha, on the outskirts of Cape Town’s inner city and suburbs, and, home to the South African youth members. Most of the morning was spent filming and interviewing the residents and business people (hair salon owners and minibus taxi drivers) about their daily activities within the area. In the afternoon the group moved to Site C, in Khayelitsha, documenting a crèche in the area, interviewing the owner about challenges and progress. The day ended at Future Champs, a youth boxing and life skills centre – in Philippi East. The afternoon was filled with fun filming the boxing coach and interviews with the younger children to get a sense of why they chose boxing as a sport preference.
While the group had been focused on filming and gathering footage for the previous part of the week, little did it occur to them that their work was far from over. Friday therefore started off with uploading all video footage onto the computer systems and reviewing it. An in-depth introduction to software and editing programs followed, with detailed explanations on how to edit, crop, animate and create audio on the software to familiarise themselves with the program and produce edited videos.
Looking Back and Looking Forward
The group spent the last day enjoying a burst of pre-summer heat at Cape Town’s sea-side – a time of reflection and realizing that their journey had only just begun. For Allan Mawejju from Uganda the trip to Khayelitsha was a highlight, especially learning how to deal with people during interviews. The highlight for Zandile Nomnga, who loves music and dance, was the opportunity to chance upon and film a soul music group at the busy Green Market Square.
“With the knowledge we gained we will show our members back home how to document their daily activities and who knows this could also be a form of job creation where they would film what is going on in our countries and sell to a news network”.
Mamfuka Joweria Kaluxigi, National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda
It was clear that the group was leaving with an array of skills that will assist them in forming KYC TV teams together with the continued support from James and SDI, through the Ugandan and South African support organisations, ACTogether and CORC. Many expressed the desire to share their learning with friends and fellow youth members who did not have the opportunity to attend. Some want to produce mini documentaries about their informal settlement and the activities that the youth do. The following weeks will be dedicated to consolidating the skills learnt during the training and produce the first mini documentaries.
“We didn’t know how to make films but today we are able to shoot, edit our own videos and tell our stories, I thank God for the opportunity and Know Your City TV for the platform”
Muwanguzi Solomon, National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda
Launch of Upgrading at Flamingo Crescent with Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille
**Cross posted from the SA SDI Alliance blog**
Authored by CORC
“People said Flamingo Crescent [Upgrading] will never happen. But today is here and this is the proof that it has happened – one cannot do it alone we need to work as a collective!”
– Melanie Manuel, Informal Settlement Network (ISN) Co-ordinator
Last week’s upgrading launch at Flamingo Crescent informal settlement celebrated the completion of re-blocking, installation of water, sanitation and electricity services for each of Flamingo’s 104 households, the unveiling of Flamingo’s first formal street names and opening of the settlement’s own crèche, Little Paradise. Moreover it marked a milestone in an ongoing upgrading process, showcasing what is possible when communities, intermediaries, governments and stakeholders form partnerships.
Delegates from community organisations and networks, the Mayor of the City of Cape Town, delegates from various government departments, ward and sub-council politicians, NGOs and support organisations gathered in the Lansdowne Civic Centre from 11:00 on Monday 10 February.
The re-blocking project is lauded as a successful demonstration of community-led, participatory planning, collaborative implementation and improvement of informal settlements. The uniqueness of the project was that despite the settlement’s density no one was displaced and grossly inconvenienced during the implementation of upgrading 104 structures.
Flamingo Crescent before and after re-blocking and upgrading.
First engagements around Flamingo Crescent
First engagements began in 2012 after the City of Cape Town signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the SA SDI Alliance around joint community-led upgrading of 22 informal settlements, of which Flamingo Crescent is the third, having built on the experiences of Mtshini Wamand Kuku Town. It differs from the previous two in the severity of its socio-economic challenges – high levels of crime, unemployment, violence and poverty. Given these circumstances the Alliance’s Informal Settlement Network (ISN) facilitated implementation and engagement between the City and the community.
Melanie Manuel (Flamingo Crescent ISN facilitator) shared,
“When we started the partnership with the City of Cape Town in 2011 in Vygieskraal it was a day of celebration and no one knew the hardships that would lie ahead. As time went on we realised we fundamentally believe in community participation, a bottom up approach because we know communities understand their settlements best.”
Read more background here.
The Launch: Messages on Upgrading and Inclusion in Services
At the launch, the first speaker, Councillor Anthea Green shared,
“Since 2012 I have said that we need to upgrade Flamingo Crescent, despite resistance from the rate payers and residents’ groups. We were committed to work with the community, and now this is a transformed settlement”.
Informal settlements not only face substandard basic services like water, sanitation and electricity but are also cut off from functions of city administration such as receiving a residential address. The re-blocking project allowed the City and the Post Office to give Flamingo Crescent street names and addresses, after the community made this requirement upfront in their development plan.
Gerald Blankenberg, regional director of the Post Office, said that the Post Office Act and other regulations require the post office to expand addresses to underserviced communities.
“Informal communities are often times socially and economically disconnected from basic administrative functions, and therefore a residential address will give the Post Office an opportunity to serve the community with dignity”, he said.
In the keynote address, Mayor Patricia de Lille emphasised the significant role of Flamingo community’s steering committee, the Alliance’s ISN and Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC) in the success of the project. She, however, expressed concern about the slow pace of project implementation, emphasizing the need to boost municipal and community capacity to ensure the roll out of more projects in the City’s 200 informal settlements.
“The aim of re-blocking is the improvement of informal settlements while people wait for a housing opportunity”, she observed.
In closing of the ceremony, the Mayor handed over certificates of tenure to community members, ensuring formal recognition of residence and tenure security.
City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille with Flamingo Crescent community leader, Maria Matthews.
The Impact of Upgrading : Before and After
Before re-blocking, the community of 405 residents had access to only 14 chemical toilets (of which 7 were serviced) and 2 water taps. There was no electricity so that contained fires in tin drums dotted the settlement’s dusty pathways. The community was especially concerned about the safety of its children playing in the busy street.
Re-blocking restructured space in the settlement, opening courtyard areas and clearly designated access roads, enabling the City of Cape Town to install individual water, sanitation and electricity services per household. What sets Flamingo apart from previous projects are its paved pathways, with official road names as well as the construction of a crèche.
The community contributed 20% to the cost of its structures through community-based daily savings. During the implementation phase, 20 jobs were created through the Expanded Public Works Programme.
Flamingo Crescent before and after.
Into the Future: Community voices on Partnership and City Fund
“Since 2010 we have been thinking about improvements in our settlement. This is when we got in touch with ISN, who introduced us to CORC, and we then made a partnership with the City [of Cape Town] We explained what we wanted from the city – our own taps, toilets and electricity. But we needed to come together and draft our own plans”.
(Maria Matthews, Flamingo Community Leader)
Through the SA SDI Alliance the community additionally partnered with several organisations. iKhayalami supported the community, ISN/FEDUP and CORC around training community members and top structure construction. The community established the re-blocked layout and community-based maps in partnership with students from Cape Peninsula University of Technology and support staff from CORC. With the support of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI, USA) the community drew up plans for the crèche. Habitat for Humanity South Africa contributed to construction by supplying the roof sheets and windows. The Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD) donated funds to build the crèche. CECD will also support around the training and registration of the crèche.
From Melanie’s speech it was clear,
“This project is successful because of the methodologies we use. We allow communities to do their own designs. The community also made a [financial] contribution [in a settlement] where 95% of community members were unemployed. How do we change the mind-sets of people who are still waiting for adequate housing? Let’s change the way we are living now while we are waiting for housing to come.”
(Melanie Manuel, ISN Facilitator)
Important as settlement improvement is in itself, the methodology is just as significant. Moreover, Flamingo Crescent serves as a precedent for informal settlement upgrading on a larger scale. The day ended with the community leading the Mayor through their settlement, unveiling Flamingo’s new street names and officially opening the Little Paradise crèche together. It is Melanie Manuel’s closing words that speak of the future:
“We need to look at a holistic plan for the metro. Let’s look at how we can reach basic services much quicker and how we can scale up. The Alliance projects do not only focus on reblocking but on basic services in every form. The Alliance has designed a City Fund with which communities can directly access money for upgrading in Cape Town. In Flamingo the Aliance’s Community Upgrading Finance Facility (CUFF) helped us match the 20% that each community member contributed to their structure. This kind of facility on a city-level will go a long way – we challenge the City to continue partnering with us and match our contributions in the City Fund!”
Urban Livelihoods in Cape Town
Nandipha & Noziphiwo team up to expand the community garden at the Masiphumelele Soup Kitchen.
A national industry which offers public-sector employment to 50,000 economically disadvantaged beneficiaries should have a profound impact on the livelihoods of poor informal settlement dwellers. The Department of Environmental Affairs Working for Water Program (WfW) is therefore a primary target for Community Organisation Resource Centre’s (CORC) engagement of the state. In 2002, CORC managed 25 teams in all nine provinces to work at a staffing model which sustainably supports employees. However, due to the under-budgeted nature of the program, the majority of these teams disintegrated. The only remaining teams were privately led rather than collective in structure, with profits directed primarily to the supervisory contractor, rather than the labourers. Currently, most WfW teams operate under this model, under which the vast majority of beneficiaries earn minimal wages and secondary benefits of social development and training opportunities. This year, CORC assembled a new team in the Western Cape based on an ambitious project: to clear neglected private areas on demanding terrain bordering the Province’s most-visited nature reserve. This effort in collaboration with nearby private landowners attracted the attention of WfW once more. Affected communities near the reserve have limited employment opportunities due to their isolation and have minimal collaboration with the Informal Settler’s Network (ISN) and Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP). With the help of existing contacts at Non-Profit organisations in the settlements of Masiphumelele, team leaders were drawn from youth SDI-employees from Phillipi. Young women from Masiphumelele in the South Cape Peninsula were hired as general workers with the potential for promotion conditional with training. This report follows their story.
Ayanda The seeds of this project started when Ayanda Magqaza was a sprightly fifteen-year-old. He would leave his home in Phillipi to stay and work in the South Peninsula for the weekend. Agile and flexible, Ayanda quickly learned to clamber over the boulders and climb the gum trees at Castle Rock. Local landowners would hire him, first to help in the garden, and eventually to man a chainsaw alone in the depths of the forest all day long. As a CORC employee, Ayanda was the first person the project leaders called to begin working on the mountain, with the hopes that he would soon be able to lead an entire team to assist him. Within a few months the imagined team materialized, largely due to his illustrative, personal and persuasive communication abilities. When project management was absent for two months in mid-winter, Ayanda took the helm and continued to recruit new team members, coordinate logistics for certified training sessions, and lead the team to clear vegetation on the mountain slopes.
Anela was an unpaid volunteer at the Masiphumelele Pink House when she started with CORC in June. Now she earns a wage on the CORC team, partly to help restore the Pink House community garden.
Anela All roads in Masiphumelele lead past the Pink House, a community services center managed by Catholic Welfare Development (CWD). While CORC was recruiting for the team, CWD opened their doors and provided a number of applicants. Most were men, with some construction experience; the women seemed to be looking for a desk or service job, something with a roof. But Anela Dlulane stood out, highly recommended by CWD as a lead volunteer there. During the first trial on the mountain, when the slackers stayed back to chat and move slowly, Anela kept pace with the young guys as they stacked body-length branches along the hillside. It was hard work compared to her previous job as a typist at the Department of Transport, but Anela stuck with it, with the hopes of one day fulfilling an administrative role for the CORC team.
Roger Prior to joining the team, most of Roger Janse’s days were indoors at the Slum Dweller International (SDI) offices. The office valued his polyglot fluency in Cape Town’s three main languages, but his studies were at a standstill and he was not sure how to advance his career. He aspired to obtain his Driver’s License and begin work as a driver for SDI, but despite repeated courses, he did not pass the test. Roger had helped Ayanda in the South Peninsula before and decided to try it again. The mountain revealed itself to be an exciting place, satisfying his interest in wildlife like puff adders and cape cobras. Roger began work as a stacker, but by the end of winter had attained his Chainaw Operator’s certificate, and qualified for three other courses. Just two months later he held his long-awaited Driver’s License in his hands, then doggedly pursued an additional commercial license. Due to his determination, the team now depends on Roger in his role of back-up driver to transport them and their equipment from home to work.
Determined to expand his skill set, Roger exceeded available WfW courses and attained his commercial Driving License
Sinjuvo She came prepared. She brought with her a record of several years of herbicide applicator experience, a list of contacts from her old team, and even wore here official yellow WfW shirt to work. At some point she had left her previous WfW team and her skills and training were left idle until she crossed paths with the SA SDI Alliance in Masiphumelele. Gudiswa Mathu may be older than the average worker, but her experience helps her know how best to contribute. When the team was still in its early stages, struggling to find women who were prepared to do labour-intensive tasks day in and day out, Gudiswa knew who to call. Within two weeks, the team ratio was balanced in favor of the better gender, 7 to 4, surpassing WfW national standards for female-to-male hiring ratios.
Sakhe With only his secondary school certificate in hand, he set out for Cape Town from the Eastern Cape. After growing up there and doing his schooling there, Sakhekile Nkohli contacted the few family members and friends he had in Cape Town and moved into Masiphumelele. He found infrequent work, mostly occasional construction jobs. But as a young worker his resume and contacts were not competitive. When given the chance on the mountain, Sakhe demonstrated what made him stand out. His fearlessness and drive earned him the position as the only team member without a previous relationship with SDI to receive and qualify for chainsaw training. With Siya or Ayanda present, Sakhe is a dependable assistant and when a more experienced manager is unavailable, he takes the helm.
Bracing himself on the steep slopes, Sakhe clears an area for the Chainsaw Operator to work, a role for which he now is also qualified as a result of training on the team
Liso She may have the smallest shoe size, but in many ways she makes the biggest contribution. After 6 years of working on alien clearing teams, Liso Jentile offers the most insight and thoughtfulness of any team member. Her years of experience include training as chainsaw operator, which offsets the gender balance of mostly men leading with chainsaws and women following while stacking branches. Most of the time, she is quiet, and does not participate in the teatime chatter. But when the team reaches a new situation and is uncertain how to proceed, people turn to Liso for well-seasoned advice. Her thinking abilities make her a role model for other women on the team and a prime candidate for promotion to a leadership role.
Siya Initially, he was busy in the office and didn’t take the offer. Afterall, his family was in Philippi, including his newborn son. Weekdays in isolated Castle Rock sounded lonesome. And after more than a decade of chainsaw work without any career prospects, the idea of working on the mountain did not excite him. But when the opportunity to join Ayanda at a chainsaw operator training arose, Siyasanga Hermanus got involved. Within three weeks he had a team working to help him stack – a luxury after the years of working on the mountain alone. With his firm manner and steadfast approach, Siya earned his team’s trust. Now he, like Ayanda, is building up skills to eventually contract his own team. But while most WfW contractors supervise from the sidelines, Siya will remain right where he is. The only way to make sure the work gets done, he says, is to be part of the team. He won’t be letting go of his chainsaw anytime soon.
Workers are tasked with removing dense alien forest from steep mountain slopes
It is a fragile system, but it holds together – a web of life that benefits from its interdependent nature as much as it is defrayed by internal competition. Like the risk of wildfire on the mountain, our team confronts challenges to their health and safety every day. Competition is no stranger, and they confront one another when they disagree on an approach to an issue. Like the heat of summer, they feel it on their table at home when funding dries up and bonuses are no longer available. And when in need of assistance, if it is not offered with personal consideration, some team members may be flooded with advantages while others fail to gain ground.
Despite these challenges, the team is resilient. They depend on one another because they know that they can fell more trees working together than alone. A communicator like Ayanda can help advocate for more contracts together than the others could do alone. A veteran like Liso can help plan savings for their future together better than the others could do alone. And with perseverance, they can build a collective company with the full contribution of each team member.
While one person cleans a chainsaw, another takes inventory of the day’s supplies. A Health and Safety Officer takes note of the appearance of the deforested slopes after a day’s work while a First Aid Officer records that day’s participation of each individual. One person measures herbicide concentrations, while another speaks publicly about the value to biodiversity of their work. Each worker has their role and is valued as an essential member of the team.
Over 35,000 South Africans are funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs to clear invasive alien vegetation in South Africa. The vast majority of them work under a private contractor. While project funds should be directed to workers, this system incentivizes the contractor to increase staff productivity to their own benefit. CORC’s team structure provides a new model, one that serves the poor populations that it is meant to support. Through this program, CORC has the opportunity to affect livelihoods across the country. It begins with the collective.
This collective has a new opportunity. In the South Cape Peninsula, a few mountain slopes dipping into the sea appear too difficult, too costly to clear. Without professional training for mountain slopes, this team has confronted Castle Rock. In doing so, they have proven their worth as recipients of intermediate training required to clear such lands safely. As an intermediate team in high demand, they may prove financially sustainable while maintaining the collective structure that can help negotiate the team members into more established careers. As a self-sustaining collective they may be able to operate independently throughout the Western Cape, and can train other teams in other provinces. A handful of youth from the South Peninsula has the chance to transition from labourers to leaders, not only in their industry, but in their communities.
2014 Annual Report: Deliverables
- Workers contribute at low pay rate to make initial contracts viable
- Workers agree to contribute to service projects in their community
- CORC-SDI contribution of R172,100 for year 1 expanded 4-fold with contributions from national government, private landowners, and team-based enterprise
- Full-time employment of 11 youth, mostly women
- Indirectly affects an estimated 50 household members
- Restoration of wildlife habitat adjacent to internationally-recognized Table Mountain National Park
- Expand project area 7-fold from 37-hectare conservancy to entire South Cape Peninsula (>250 km^2 infested)
- Establish workers career path through regular training and collective company formation
- NGO’s provide space, candidates, community service projects
- ISN provided candidates interview space
- Residents provided equipment, storage space, emergency vehicles, and funding
- National government provided counsel, oversight, and funding
- Partner funding ensures project sustainability
- >R1.9 million fundraised financially/in-kind; exceeds original SDI grant 20-fold
• Employment of 10 youth under age of 35, Ages of 20 – 35, interviewed 50
• Female employment, 7:4 female to male (64%), beyond government regulations, expected to work under demanding physical conditions, skilling with physical positions ex: chainsaw operation, training leadership and administrative roles
• Training of marketable skills
• Partnership with Masiphumelele NGO’s
- Desmond Tutu Youth Centre
- Catholic Welfare Development Pink House
• Land clearing for alternate use at Desmond Tutu Youth Centre
• Installment of Soup Kitchen Garden at Masiphumelele Pink House
• Renewal of relationship with national government after >12 yrs dormant
1. Production of successful national tender
- Production of successful tender, R1.5 Million
- Establishment of working relations with key department officials (Dept. Env. Affairs)
- Field progress reporting in lieu of CORC staff ability
- Training and engagement of CORC staff to perform reporting tasks in future
2. Field equipment procurement
- Bid for lowest cost equipment utilizing existing knowledge for 13 years of clearing activities and 3 years of professional management work
3. Site survey and mapping of biological resources and quantification of working conditions
- Technical skill and equipment unavailable within CORC
4. Field team assembly
- Engagement of NGO’s in neglected township via Informal Settlement Network
- Thorough search for suitable members worthy of long-term investment
- Development of team integrity based on needs of individual team members
5. Leadership development
- Reengagement, training, promotion of existing SDI staff in South Peninsula projects
- Trained 7 unemployed youth female workers, 1 unemployed youth male worker, and 3 low-income male youth workers, strategically providing skills with career prospects
6. Community relations and fundraising and in-kind support
- South African Department of Environmental Affairs Working for Water Program
- South Peninsula landowners, Castle Rock Conservancy
- Masiphumelele NGO’s – Catholic Welfare Development, Desmond Tutu Youth Centre
- Four-fold increase in available funds for year 1 alone
- Incentivized fundraising to workers
- In-kind contributions from private landowners valuing >R200,000
- Increased national funding in years 2,3
- Internal funding of management and start-up costs should be replaced by increased private contribution in years 2, 3
- Internal funding is responsible for staffing at first
- Goal is to transition wage payments to government funders and oversight payments to private funders
- Internal funding for years 2,3 should be mentorship, empowerment, community engagement and administration
- Largest portion of funds paid directly to workers
- Start-up costs of equipment, oversight and training will likely be reduced by end of year 3
In Situ Upgrading and Accessible Cities
Accessible and inclusive cities demand systems and policies that provide the poor with equal access to the social, economic, and service benefits of the formal city. Relocation to the periphery (or even worse eviction) severs social bonds, increases urban sprawl, and aggravates spatial inequalities. In situ upgrading of informal settlements presents an opportunity to build denser, more climate friendly and equitable cities. Citywide data collection processes through profiles and enumerations form the baseline to plan for in situ upgrading.
SDI therefore understands in situ upgrading as a key part of integrating the excluded and informal poor populations into the city as a whole, providing meaningful access to the social and economic benefits of living in a city. An array of interventions have been developed by SDI’s affiliates to prepare communities for in situ upgrading projects and subsequently implement infrastructure and housing upgrades.
In Harare, Zimbabwe the Zimbabwean Homeless People’s Federation (ZHPF) and their support NGO, Dialogue on Shelter, have supported the incremental upgrading of Dzivarasekwa (DZ) extension in partnership with the City of Harare. To date almost 500 families have built incremental housing and accessed water and sanitation services. Surrounding informal communities have become interested in taking up these upgrading interventions and the Zimbabwean Alliance has plans to significantly scale up sanitation provision in DZ extension. Other city governments and communities (e.g. in Chinhoyi, Bulawayo, Kariba, and Kadoma) have been exposed to the projects and steps are being taken to replicate upgrading interventions. The partnership and pilots in Harare have influenced government (locally and nationally) to accept dry sanitation options (ecosan) and adopt incremental upgrading practices in the new National Housing Policy.
In Kampala the Ugandan Alliance has focused on pilot sanitation and market upgrading projects. In terms of sanitation the Federation has piloted a number of different toilet prototypes in Kinawataka, Kisenyi, and Kalimali and other municipalities outside of Kampala. The pilot projects have enabled the Federation to: a) engage local government substantively on the issue of sanitation discussing policy, regulations, and management strategies; b) change perceptions on what “public toilets” are from dirty, smelly, single-purpose units to units than can serve multiple functions – such as community halls, income generating spaces etc. and c) test different technologies – from solar lighting, to rainwater harvesting, to low-cost building materials in an effort to find the most efficient combinations for sanitation facilities. The Federation is now seen as a critical actor in the sanitation sector and has increased its networking with other actors in the field for enhanced learning. As a result of these pilots, the Federation was able to leverage significant resources from Comic Relief to continue its sanitation work over the next five years.
The vast majority of Kampala’s slum dwellers work in the informal sector – many in the city’s informal markets. As the city plans to upgrade these markets from cramped, muddy, and poorly ventilated and serviced to something more formal (and taxable) there is a danger the existing vendors will be pushed out due to affordability concerns.
The Federation is working on a pilot market upgrade in Kinawataka, Nakawa which will combine low-cost stalls and more formal “lock ups” to cater to the different needs of city dwellers. Many market upgrading projects in the city have been stalled for years due to the wrangles of market vendors, local politicians, and landlords. The Federation is working with the Kampala Capital City Authority and the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development to try to demonstrate an alternative community-driven approach that may minimize these roadblocks to successful market upgrading.
In Cape Town, the South African Alliance has piloted three in situ upgrading projects. Over the last year Mshini Wam has been re-blocked, opening up space for safer and more dignified communities, as well as for infrastructure. Through the growing partnership with the City of Cape Town, water and sewerage pipes have been installed for the 250 households (497 people) in the settlement. Road surfacing is under discussion and during the next financial year electrification is planned. Nokwezi Klaas, a community leader from Mshini Wam, describes how re-blocking has changed the settlement: “Prior to re-blocking, the settlement was very dense. There were no passageways and when there were fires it was virtually impossible to get into the settlement. All the toilets were on the outskirts and there were only three water taps for over 200 households in the settlement.”
In Kukutown, a far smaller settlement, re-blocking has taken place and one-on-one services (water, sanitation, and electricity) have been installed. In Flamingo Crescent the re-blocking process is currently underway. In Stellenbosch a community managed WASH facility has been constructed in the Langrug informal settlement. Mshini Wam, Kukutown, and Flamingo Crescent have been used to show the possibilities for in situ upgrading in Cape Town and to catalyse other interventions at a city scale.
Their impact has been significant with the City of Cape Town drafting a re-blocking policy which could potentially be rolled out to other settlements across the city and aligned with municipal development plans, frameworks, and budget lines. During this period several consultation meetings have been held with the City to expedite and refine this process, addressing challenges and delays that have emerged.
In situ upgrading projects based on solid community data present a viable alternative to relocation and eviction. The variety of pilots and interventions trialed throughout the network highlight alternative visions for the city that include the poor, rather then relegate them to the periphery. The methods deployed represent a “tool-kit” which is contingent on local contexts especially the nature of relationships with local governments. What will become increasingly vital in the next year is how SDI federations are now in a position to scale up informal settlement upgrading interventions that form part of a coherent, affordable, and scalable citywide plan.
Check out SDI’s 2013 – 2014 Annual Report for more on in situ upgrading.
SDI President Jockin Arputham Visits South African SDI Alliance in Cape Town
SDI President Jockin Arputham (right) and Rajiv Jalota, Additional Municipal Commissioner for Greater Mumbai Municipality (left).
*Cross posted from South African SDI Alliance blog*
Jockin Arputham, president of Shack / Slum Dwellers International (SDI) received a warm welcome from the South African Alliance in Cape Town yesterday on the last of his four-day visit. As a long-standing, much-valued friend of the Alliance he spent the day with community leaders in Khayelitsha and with representatives of the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Province. Jockin spoke about the power of savings and the Indian Alliance’s partnership with the Municipality of Greater Mumbai. In this context, Jockin was accompanied by Rajiv Jalota, the Additional Municipal Commissioner for Projects in Greater Mumbai Municipality.
Community leaders in Khayelitsha welcome Jockin.
An official welcome from Tamara Hela, community leader from UT Gardens, Khayelitsha.
The Informal Settlement Network (ISN) has mobilised and profiled several settlements in Khayelitsha that are set to proceed on water, sanitation, drainage, re-blocking and community facility projects. Jockin’s visit linked Khayelitsha’s community leaders – many of whom are fairly new to ISN and SDI processes – to the broader context of the South African Alliance and SDI as a global network.
National coordinators of the South African Alliance’s two social movements, Patrick Maghebhula (ISN) and Rose Molokoane (FEDUP) welcomed Jockin by speaking about the Alliance’s history with the Indian Alliance. They referred to the South African slogan – Amandla Imali Nolwazi: Power is Money and Knowledge – and its roots in the relationship with India.
“This slogan started influencing me after we went to India (in 1991). We shared ideas around democracy with the Indians. We saw that after 40 years of democracy millions of people in India were extremely poor. We realized that if you sit around and wait for democracy it will come…but it will come with its own laws that might not cater for you. We need to do something to translate these laws to our own life. And so we learnt the experience of self-reliance from the Indians. We need to drive our own lives – and we do that with savings. This is how relationships with government were formed in India. Our savings and our information give us power to influence laws. We know, that yes, we may be poor, but we are not hopeless“
(Rose Molokoane, National FEDUP co-ordinator)
Rose Molokoane, national FEDUP coordinator.
In the keynote address, Jockin emphasised that
“Savings are a life line. We talk about savings the whole time because money is what speaks. But when you collect money – door to door – you also collect information. When you have information you can plan action and if you act, something will happen. This is why money and information guarantee us power. We need to think about how to support ourselves”
As 40 – 50 % of Mumbai’s population – 19 million people – lives in slums, many millions do not have access to toilets. In fact, the ratio translates to about 1 toilet for every 800 people. The NSDF has therefore been working together with Mr Jalota and the Municipality to construct community planned and -owned toilet facilities. This experience, Mr Jalota explained, would help to develop more policies for Greater Mumbai.
Jockin founded the National Slum Dwellers Federation of India (NSDF) in the 1970s. Often referred to as the “grandfather” of the global slum dwellers movement, Jockin was educated by the slums, living on the streets for much of his childhood with no formal education. For more than 30 years, Jockin has worked in slums and shantytowns throughout India and around the world. After working as a carpenter in Mumbai, he became involved in organising the community where he lived and worked (Reference). He helped found SDI and has been awarded many prestigious global awards, most recently the Skoll Foundation award for social entrepreneurship. On behalf of SDI Jockin has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
National Community Exchange – Durban to Cape Town
**Cross-posted from the South African SDI Alliance blog.**
By Yolande Hendler, CORC South Africa
Informal settlement leaders from Kenville and Foreman Road in Durban are mobilising their communities to upgrade their settlements with better services and improved spatial layouts. Last week’s exchange to Cape Town (29 April – 2 May 2014) therefore presented a first-hand opportunity for them to draw insights from fellow community leaders.
Over the week the Durban visitors were hosted by Kuku Town, Flamingo Crescent, Langrug & Mtshini Wam communities in and around Cape Town. Each day was dedicated to an in-depth visit of each settlement. This included a detailed site visit, discussions on collecting savings, enumerating and profiling settlements and contributing to planning and mapping. Besides bringing leaders together on a national level, the exchange also connected communities locally: for leaders from Kuku Town, Flamingo and Langrug the exchange comprised a first time visit to the other settlements. Exchanges are thus the most important learning vehicle in the South African Alliance, facilitating the direct exchange of information, experience and skills between urban poor communities.
Day one in Kuku Town: Upgrading & Savings
Community leaders met in Kuku Town, a small settlement that recently completed re-blocking and in the process secured one-on-one water and sanitation services from the City of Cape Town. Read more about Kuku Town and re-blocking here. In the discussion community leaders took the visitors through a step-by-step picture of Kuku Town’s experiences. ISN representative, Melanie Manuel, explained that
Community leaders share their experiences around organising and upgrading in Kuku Town community hall.
“What we do in ISN is not only to beautify our settlements but to actually change the way we live. Savings and partnerships – like we had with Habitat for Humanity and the municipality – are an important part of this.”
Yet, before partnerships can be formed, a community needs to know its settlement in terms of the number of (un)emloyed people, the number of structures and families and details on service provision (electricity, sanitation and water). This information is collected in enumerations. Kuku Town community used its enumeration data to plan its re-blocked layout and to negotiate the provision of one-on-one services and short-term employment opportunities through the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Community leaders explained that they organised themselves in clusters to be able to navigate the logistics around communication and construction during re-blocking.
Among a variety of questions, the visitors took special interest in understanding the connection between savings and upgrading, especially the role of community contributions. Melanie explained that
“Savings contributions enable us as communities to take ownership and responsibility of the changes and upgrading in our settlements. We want to move away from a ‘free for all mindset’ and restore dignity and pride to our communities”
But collecting savings poses a continuous challenge. How to go about motivating communities and responding to accusations? Flamingo Crescent’s community leader, Auntie Marie, shared her experience:
“Getting the community’s commitment for daily savings is difficult. People only want to act when they see that things are happening. You’ve got to be tough. If you’re not tough you won’t get anything right”
For Kuku Town community leader, Verona Joseph, the partnership with the City and its support in this regard, was crucial. This became evident at Kuku Town’s official handover that afternoon which was attended by the ward councillor and City officials. The handover and a site visit completed the first day of the exchange, demonstrating what a tangible community-government partnership can look like.
Exchange participants join handover ceremony in Kuku Town.
Kuku Town site visit: Inspecting water and sanitation units provided by the City.
Day two in Flamingo Crescent: Re-blocking and Partnerships
Flamingo Crescent is about to begin re-blocking and – in partnership with the City of Cape Town – is set to receive one-on-one services. On a walkabout through the smoke and dust-filled pathways community leaders received a thorough impression of the settlement’s layout. Most structures – consisting of old cardboard, zinc, timber and plastic pieces – are situated around a broad, u-shaped pathway that is intersected by smaller, narrow footpaths. Flamingo’s population of about 450 people resides in 104 structures. The entire settlement makes use of only 2 taps and 14 chemical toilets that are emptied three times a week. The absence of electricity means that fire is used as a central source for cooking and warmth.
In a nearby community hall, Flamingo’s steering committee explained its relationship with ISN and the challenge of collecting savings contributions due to its high unemployment rate (50%). Flamingo’s enumeration acted as a powerful entry point to negotiating an improved layout and service provision with the City of Cape Town. Together with students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (USA) the community designed the re-blocked layout and conceptualised plans for a crèche and a play park. Later, the visitors joined the steering committee’s meeting with a Cape Town City official who provided an update on the City’s contribution to upgrading. For the visitors this was of particular value as it emphasised the crucial role of partnerships and the number of actors involved in a given project. The question at the forefront of many minds was: how can we do this in our communities at home?
For Auntie Marie, Flamingo community leader, it is evident that
“If it wasn’t for ISN, I don’t know where we would be. Through ISN we were introduced to the City and we got a partnership. We started thinking, ‘Now something is going to happen’. Flamingo is going to be re-blocked!”
Check back here in the coming days for more on this exchange. In addition, you can take a look at an additional report on the exchange, put together by the Durban representatives, here.
The Art of Ark Building in Langrug, South Africa
**Cross-posted from the CORC blog**
By Walter Fieuw, CORC
The dystopia of the urbanisation of poverty is a confounding reality, to say the least. People eek out a living in the harshest environment, are subject to environmental torture, and have little prospect of escaping the vices of modern life. Under imperial and apartheid South Africa, the right of non-Europeans/ non-whites to urban life was continuously supressed, if not denied fully. In fact, the very existence of the racist regime was premised on segregated urban spaces. This is why, argues philosopher Achile Mbembe of Stellenbosch University, “most social struggle of the post apartheid era can be read as attempts to re-conquer the right to be urban.”
This confounding reality is often worsened and aggravated by government policies that do not recognize the urban crisis. For many years, governments have shied away from devising comprehensive policies that tackle the challenges of urban poverty, and that harness the potentials for innovative development, which have historically been associated with urbanization. In the global South, the import of modernist planning norms and standards from the global North has perpetuated the existence and recurrence of peripheral urban slums by creating sanitized spaces for the elite.
What are the real prospects for social and political change in this new democratic dispensation? The high waves of market forces, income inequality, and worsening human development indices rock the tattered and bruised vessels of the urban poor. For some miracle of resilience and agency, the poor continue to press forward. In many cases, the hope of a more equal and fair society has found expression in the agency of the underclass, of the excluded, of the marginalized. These societies have depended on a forgotten art: the art of ark building.
Despite the introduction of potentially more progressive, transformative and situational responsive policies contained in the “second generation” of human settlement legislative frameworks (the first ten years being a dismal failure), local governments have struggled to come to grips with the extensive community engagement and difficult engineering and geotechnical interventions implicit in the upgrading of informal settlements. Organised communities are filling the voids created by lack of political will, social facilitation, and technical expertise by generating a resource base they own: knowledge about their settlement.
For this reason, Premier of the Western Cape, Ms. Helen Zille, paid a visit to Franschhoek on the 8th of May. She wanted to witness the progress made by the Langrug community in partnership with the Stellenbosch Municipality. Langrug is a large informal settlement on the slopes of Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Franschhoek. Seasonal laborers working on the wine farms and a large dam construction project established the settlement in the early 1990s. This settlement construed a forgotten people for many years, until the municipality was forced to action when the neighboring farm owner obtained a court interdict against the Municipality for the settlement’s greywater runoff into his irrigation dam. The municipality was forced to start negotiating with the settlement, because 14 families were to be relocated in the reserve earmarked for an access road construction. Cape Town’s Informal Settlement Network (ISN) was introduced to the settlement after the municipality engaged the network, opening a year-long relationship-building window. Ever since, a full scale in-situ upgrade project has been launched; providing better service with minimal disruption to residents’ lives.
Premier Zille opened her address by saying that there is no more difficult policy environment than housing. The question of the spread of resources – either a serviced house for a few or better services and incremental tenure security for many – has continually shaped the South African housing policy debate. During the visit, Zille commented, “the important point about this informal settlement is that it is one of the first where we have a viable partnership with the community. And now, working with the community, we are installing stormwater, greywater systems, toilets, washing facilities, road and upgrading the place generally … but the existing thing about this project is that we are upgrading shacks where they are instead of moving people out and starting from the beginning”. Western Cape MEC for Housing Bonginkosi Madikizela said: “It is a fantastic model. The message to the rest of the country is that any development is a partnership between government and communities. They become partners rather than passive recipients”.
Much attention was called to the “model” of community participation espoused by Informal Settlement Network (ISN). Zille argued that this new “model” could be better articulated by having a single window policy approach to refining the government’s ability to navigate complex (and fragmented) policy frameworks. Although such an approach could be instructive, a model without agency has no value. Organised communities have an agency to transform urban landscapes by transforming their settlements. One of the failures of the government-driven and top-down implementation of housing developments in post-apartheid era was exactly this: the entrenchment of the forgotten apartheid ghettos. But informal residents are taking the lead in integrating their development with the greater evolution of their surrounding urban spaces. The ark communities are building is an inclusive one; one that has the capacity to deliver social and political change. This ark does not look or function like any of the government’s planning apparatuses, which are often founded on principles that entrench existing spatial inequalities. No, this ark is different. It is different because the ones designing the ark are different. Communities and government can only revive the lost art of ark building when they partner around deliverables such as improved living conditions. In this way, power is shared, and solutions are co-produced.
Other media coverage: