Lumkani is a social enterprise that seeks to address the challenge of shack/slum fires in urban informal settlements in South Africa and across the globe.

2Lumkani aims to create social impact by increasing the safety and security of people living in informal settlements with technology-based early warning systems.

5Lumkani is committed to continual innovation and inclusive design practices that are driven by testing and feedback.

4Lumkani seeks to promote business and social practices that respect people, ensure sustainability and create value.


Lumkani has developed an early warning system to reduce the damage and destruction caused by the spread of shack/slum fires in urban informal settlements.

Our detectors have been specifically designed to use heat detection instead of smoke detection to sense fire. Many cooking, lighting and heating methods used by people living in informal settlements produce smoke. This is the reason Lumkani devices use rate-of rise of temperature technology to accurately measure the incidence of dangerous fires and limit the occurrence of false alarms.

Lumkani Network


We have also designed functionality to address the dense nature of urban informal settlements. Density is a challenge all urban informal settlements share, which is a risk factor that enables the rapid spread of fires.

We have identified that in order to provide a sufficient early warning; a community-wide alert is required. Our devices respond to this challenge as they are networked, connecting all devices within a 60-metre radius. In the event of a fire, devices within this range will ring together, creating a community-wide response to the danger. This buys time for communities to become proactive in rapidly spreading fire risk situations.

Lumkani will begin rolling out 2 000 units to communities in the City of Cape Town in October 2014.

We havcorce been fortunate to partner with the Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC). They are the local branch of Shack-dwellers International (SDI), and an expert in social change practice. They have rich experience in effective engagement of marginalised communities and the informal settlement environment of South Africa.

GIST_LogoLumkani won the best start-up in the GIST (Global Innovation through Science & Technology) Tech-I competition at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco.The GIST initiative is led by the U.S. Department of State. 

seedstarsworld-logo2 We are proud finalists of the SeedStars business competition. 

better-living-challenge (1)Lumkani won the overall prize in the Comfortable Home category for Better Living Challenge 2014.  

Shuttleworth FundedLumkani is a proud recipient of a Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant. 

TIA Lumkani received seed funding from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to develop our technology. 












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