Imizamo Yethu is a township in Hout Bay, a coastal suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. Townships were developed during the apartheid regime as residential areas for the black, coloured and Indian population. A famous example is the township Soweto, today part of the South African capital Johannesburg.
The apartheid ended 1994. However, the living standard in townships like Imizamo Yethu is still very low. Crime, violence, poor health care as well as poor educational facilities are some of the major problems the inhabitants are facing every day. Moreover, AIDS is affecting many families. Today, about 20% of the South African population between 15 and 49 years is infected with the HI-Virus - one of the highest percentages of HIV carriers in the world. For this reason, the South African life expectancy has immensely decreased to about 52 years for men and 54 years for women.
AIDS is just one of the major problems in Imizamo Yethu. Today, the 18 hectare area houses approximately 30,000 people, with many of these living in poor conditions with no plumbing, roads or any infrastructure for sustainable living. Insufficient water facilities, very few toilets and a poor sewerage system lead to bad health conditions. As a consequence of this, the Disa River which runs through this settlement has the highest level of e-coli bacteria that has ever been recorded in South Africa. Moreover, the situation is getting worse with more and more refugees from other African countries moving into the settlement, looking for shelter and peace.