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Informal Settlements

Samuel Ginsberg: facilitates the Lumkani project. It aims to ameliorate the effect of shack fires in informal settlements by providing an early warning system which allows those closest to the fire to respond before it becomes uncontrollable. The system consists of fire detectors which self-arrange into an ad hoc network to communicate events among themselves.

Collaborations with community and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) partners have strengthened with the successful completion of a 1,000 household field trial in conjunction with the American Red Cross.  Existing collaborations with partners such as the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC) and WorldVision have continued to grow in scope. In collaboration with Chivas, "The Venture", a successful Indiegogo campaign was run which raised funds to provide detectors to 1,000 additional households. We were also the recipients of an award from The Tech Awards. Media coverage continued to be strong with appearances on national TV and radio as well as online and print media.

The impact of Lumkani continued to increase as 3,000 more homes were provided with fire detection, bringing the total to around 5,000 with another 2,000 in progress.  Most importantly there are now documented interventions in four shack fires including one arson attack and documented evidence of efficacy. The number of real interventions will always be unknown as near-misses are seldom reported.