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Just a thought: WDC2014 and Shack fires

May 3, 2014

One of the biggest issues that brings to bare the Western Cape’s problem of social integration is not (necessarily) housing but rather the blight of shack fires in the Cape flats and Eastern Suburbs, because they bring about destruction, hurt, inconvenience and death.

I’m aware that the CCDI and WDC2014 have the Better Living Challenge, which I think is great, but would propose that a highly publicized special category focusing on solutions to Shack Fires is created within or outside the competition.

It is possible that the legacy of the Better Living Challenge may never see the light of day, for a number real reasons, namely: national government’s red tape, NHBRC, housing certification/ regulations, availability and cost of material and the cartels in the construction sector.

However, the City of Cape Town (and the Western Cape government) have ample motivation to implement solutions that target and potentially eradicate shack fires.

Such a solution could quite easily also be considered to be part of the legacy of the World Design Capital 2014.

Just a thought.

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One Comment
  1. Kevin Dawson permalink

    I hope you might be interested in this Montreal, Canada Company’s effort to reduce the risk of Shack Fires and Promote Poverty Relief.
    DEMO Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQxHnofsku0
    Kevin’s Kandles are not meant as competition or an alternative to electrical grid lighting or solar lighting. Our core values are fire safety and fire prevention. As such, Kevin’s Kandles are offered as an alternative to paraffin candles UNTIL the users are able to access a modern and safer form of lighting. We are looking at providing an interim solution to the incredible number of “Shack Fires” that continue to plague those in developing countries.
    SMALL STEPS TO PROMOTE POVERTY RELIEF AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
    Kevin’s Kandles is an innovative concept that provides alternative illumination. These candles have the potential to make a huge impact in Third World countries as they are much safer than traditional candles, inexpensive – half the cost, convenient and environmentally friendly.
    If a Kevin’s Kandle is left unattended – it will go out; if it is tipped over – it will go out!
    Kevin’s Kandles is a much cheaper alternative for the people that MUST continue to use candles for illumination. Kevin’s Kandles do not use petroleum based fuel and as such do not produce fumes that are bad for your health or the environment.
    Many organizations promote solar generated energy or installation of electric power grids throughout under developed and developing countries. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is, that these options are cost prohibitive and decades away. Application is only possible if supported by Relief Organizations on a donation basis. Power grids will never be feasible throughout rural communities.
    “Lighting Africa” indicates that there are 600 million people that do not have access to electricity and rely on candles and kerosene for lighting. Their projections “hope” to see 250 million people using solar lighting by 2030. What about the other 350M? What about providing a much safer, much cheaper candle NOW!
    Kevin’s Kandles promote economic development and sustainability NOW!
    Logistics for shipping, handling and storage are excellent. A master carton of Kevin’s Kandles measures 15 x 15 x 20″, weighs 25 pounds and contains 500 packs of Kevin’s Kandles. Each pack has the potential to provide a family with 3+ months of safer candle illumination. A full 40′ shipping container holds 648 master cartons – That’s 324,000 packs of Kevin’s Kandles!
    Most Accidental Candle Fires can be Prevented
    Prevent Shack Fires and Promote Poverty Relief
    I am a former UNMIL Fire Marshal that has a special place in my heart for my friends and Firefighters in Liberia.
    Kevin’s Kandles has been founded as a direct result of my assignment in 2007-2008. The weekly fire calls for accidental candle fires in Monrovia had a profound impact on me. I have spent my entire career providing fire protection and fire safety to the public. Upon my return to Canada I knew I had to do something more. Now Kevin’s Kandles are available – How do we encourage suppliers like Monoprix or Bridgeway to offer these candles to all Africans? They are Much Safer than paraffin candles, less than half the cost and environmentally friendly.
    If a Kevin’s Kandle is left unattended – it will go out; if it is tipped over – it will go out!
    In January 2012 another tragic accidental candle fire occurred in Monrovia, Liberia. 150 homes were destroyed and 2,500 people were left homeless.
    This tragedy could have been prevented with Kevin’s Kandles. It’s time for the UN and other Poverty Relief Groups to embrace these Much Safer candles.
    To watch the demonstration video and read the “Small Steps” folder visit http://www.asafercandle.com
    Let’s reduce the number of accidental shack fires!
    Looking for distributors in Africa and worldwide.
    Kevin Dawson
    Founder
    Kevin’s Kandles Inc.
    info@asafercandle.com

    Like

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