Lumkani is a fire alarm designed especially for informal settlements.
The alarm is networked using radio frequency, so when a fire is detected nearby, it will sound to warn neighbors to help.
Fire spreads quickly in townships like Khayelitsha because the densely-packed houses are often made of cardboard, wood, and corrugated tin. Narrow alleyways also mean homes are difficult for fire services to access.
The Red Cross has worked with Lumkani in Khayelitsha to distribute hundreds of the devices.
The system was engineered by a Cape Town university student, who teamed up with five co-founders to form the start up.
The network of alarms is governed by a "mother" device connected to the internet. "The moment the network is triggered the mother device communicates via SIM card technology to take the GPS coordinates of where the fire took place," said Lumkani co-founder and managing director David Gluckman. Pictured, the township of Khayelitsha.
"Since we launched the technology a year and a half ago we've had more than ten fires that would have been significant incidents, where we've radically mitigated the loss of property," Gluckman continued.
With an estimated 1 billion people living in slums around the world, Lumkani hopes its devices will have an impact far beyond South Africa. Pictured, a child in a shanty house in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
"We had to do an enormous amount of on the ground research to ensure that our features are aligned with the human experience of living in informal settlements," said Gluckman. Pictured, a mother and child in Wadala settlement, Mumbai.
"Our goal is to have many million devices out there across the world, protecting our clients and what matters most," said Gluckman. Pictured, Alexandra township, South Africa.