Marie Claire (South Africa) - - FILTER -

IN A DENSELY pop­u­lated in­for­mal set­tle­ment, it only takes one stray spark to start a dev­as­tat­ing re, dis­plac­ing hun­dreds of al­ready vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple and leav­ing them des­ti­tute. A group of young Capeto­nian engi­neers and en­trepreneurs de­cided to do some­thing about out-of-con­trol shack res and cre­ated umkani, a rev­o­lu­tion­ary re de­tec­tor de­vice. The small plas­tic box uses heat de­tec­tion in­stead of smoke to warn of res – since small res are used for cook­ing and pro­vid­ing light and warmth, us­ing smoke as a re alarm leads to many false alarms. umkani uses ra­dio fre uency to trig­ger all de­vices within a 0m radius of a pos­si­ble re, en­abling peo­ple to get out and get help as soon as pos­si­ble. More than 1 200 de­vices have been dis­trib­uted around Cape Town’s in­for­mal set­tle­ments, with the rest of the coun­try to fol­low soon.

ABOVE A burn­ing shack in Du Noon in­for­mal set­tle­ment, Cape

RIGHT Town The in­no­va­tive Lumkani fire de­tec­tor

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