Mapping poverty - getting relief to developing areas

To bring the plight of city’s (Cape Town) poor to the fore, civic technology lab Code for South Africa (Code4SA) created an interactive map that not only highlights the lack of sanitation services in informal settlements, but also allows users to explore two real-life, on-the-ground stories of people living in these areas.

There are around 437 informal settlement pockets in Cape Town, a provincial capital in South Africa. Nestled beneath the picturesque Table Mountain, the city is known as a premier tourist attraction, drawing crowds from all over the world to its restaurants, beaches and other attractions. But these same landmarks serve to separate the city’s haves from its have-nots. Apartheid spatial planning, a remnant of an oppressive regime, has kept the poor relatively out of sight and away from public scrutiny. As a result, a lack of proper sanitation and service delivery often goes unchecked in these areas. To bring the plight of city’s poor to the fore, civic technology lab Code for South Africa (Code4SA) created an interactive map that not only highlights the lack of sanitation services in informal settlements, but also allows users to explore two real-life, on-the-ground stories of people living in these areas.

“It’s one thing to look at the numbers and be aware that there are no toilets in an informal settlement. It’s another to see how Asithandile, a disabled resident of the Kosovo Informal Settlement suffers because he cannot access the temporary toilets by himself,” said Guus Hoekman, web developer at Code for South Africa.

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