One of the great challenges in informal settlements in South Africa and across the globe is that of shack/slum fires which claim lives and destroy property in the most vulnerable communities. Between 2000 and 2010, over 250 000 people lost their homes across South Africa. We cannot imagine the experience of losing everything that one owns in a single instant, but this is the daily risk faced by over 1 billion people across the world, and as an organization, Lumkani intends to deal with this international crisis.
To address the challenge of shack fires, Lumkani has developed an early-warning fire detection system specifically designed for urban informal settlements. It alerts whole communities to the event of fire to allow for early response to the danger, thereby decreasing the loss of life and property. This is done through in-home mesh-networked fire detectors, which create immediate on the ground alert, and centralized monitoring technology which sends text messages to all in the affected region.
Beyond this, Lumkani also offers low-cost fire insurance policies to informal homes, allowing people the resources to rebuild in the event of fire.