There have been 1,836 fires affecting informal settlements (locally known
as shacks) in the Western Cape in the 2012/13 fire season with 1,197 in Cape
Town. This caused 163 deaths in total. The fire on 29 Nov 2015 in Masiphumelele (Fish Hoek, Cape Town) that claimed 2 lives and destroyed 899 shacks was only one of many fires in the Cape Town area and at the beginning of the fire season.
We spoke to the people living in informal settlements and other relevant stakeholders in Nomzamo (Strand) and found that 230 out of the estimated 4,800 shacks has already burned down in the last 9 months. The community leaders admits that access to the fires by the fire department and poor water pressure is a big problem. One of the possible solutions are water towers. Our engineers are designing this which will be presented to the fire departement and Disaster Management early 2016.
Another option that will work well in combination with water towers is an early warning system that will cost about R160 per shack. The households will only pay R10 per unit with the rest of the funding needed from other financial supporters. See http://www.lumkani.com/ for more detail of the system.