Faculty Advisor

Ault, Holly Keyes

Faculty Advisor

Robertson, Thomas B.


NAMIBIA / Namibia Project Center


Our group worked with Men on the Side of the Road in Windhoek, Namibia to reduce the risk of shack fires that devastate the informal settlements of Katutura. Using participatory research methods, we interviewed local community members and fire safety personnel to determine the fire safety knowledge within the community and the causes of fires. We found that candles are the most prevalent light source and are a primary cause of shack fires in Katutura. After identifying factors that contribute to the fire risk within informal housing, we developed recommendations about alternative light sources including solar, battery, and paraffin lamp options. We also identified effective methods to spread fire safety knowledge and awareness of alternative lighting in Katutura.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

May 2015

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor Department

Humanities and Arts