South Africa Disaster Relief
More than 5 million people in South Africa have HIV or AIDS, making the country the second in the world for concentration of the disease. Millions of children have become orphans after the disease took one or both of their parents.
The extreme susceptibility to this fatal disease makes impoverished living conditions even harder to overcome—the sicker the individuals, the less likely income can be generated to support themselves or their families. It is estimated that half of the people living in South Africa live below the poverty line.
Islamic Relief South Africa opened its office in 2003 to implement and oversee education and health programs that would alleviate suffering due poverty and to help children affected by HIV/AIDS.
Regional Informal Settlements Early Warning System
Islamic Relief South Africa, through its commitment to protection of lives from hazards focussed its 2016 winterization campaign on disaster risk reduction through the implementation of an early warning system in informal settlements identified as having high risk of shack fires. This early warning system consist of a device that monitors temperature, which is among the innovative measures being used to keep crowded informal settlements safe in South Africa. The project was implemented in 3 selected informal settlements, where a total of 590 devices were installed as shown below.
Beyond taking precautionary measures to avoid shack fires, early warning and immediate response to a fire break out is the only way to avoid human & property losses and environmental damage. This is particularly the case where individuals, families and communities cannot easily protect themselves, or where the dangers are such that they can negatively affect entire populations. Since the installation of the Lumkani devices in 3 identified communities across 3 provinces, the following have been noted. The fire department was not called in any of the 3 events – the community was fully empowered, through early-networked alert and quick proactive action. The communities rallied to extinguish the fire out with pre-existing community anti-fire strategies and they successful protected their assets which otherwise are very difficult to recover. Lumkani Director, David Gluckman mentioned, “So for your investment of R140 240 you helped create R5.5m worth of value which is a 3800% return. For every Rand you invested in our Lumkani system together we generated R38 to societies benefit by mitigating the loss of shack fires. And this is only 5 months in – we will continue to stop fires for months to come – we expect this return to escalate”.