Mining is an important activity in the Democratic Republic of Congo but there are security risks.
Every year accidents and landslides claim dozens of lives.
With a view to reducing mortality rates, a local entrepreneur created an app that allows mine managers to follow the movements of those working in the pit.
The app works in conjunction with an electronic belt.
"This is a safety belt, if at a moment something dangerous were to happen to us down here, they will be alerted quickly on the other side and we will be saved" claims miner Jean Tafazali.
The system integrates GPS tracking technology that also allows measuring other variables such as temperature and oxygen levels.
Victoire Shukuru is the founder of Min Security app and explains how it works:
" Every time a digger wants to go down the pit, he wears a belt which has a GPS system that facilitates the mine managers seeing all the movements of the diggers underground. But also, thanks to the same belt, we can see the variation of the temperature underground, which allows the mine manager to see the highest variation in temperature and enables him to send oxygen to rescue people underground", said the entrepreneur.
Accidents in mines are frequent in the country and security is often not a priority. The consequences however can be devastating.
Sebyera Riziki is a mother of five children who lost her husband in the mine two years ago.
"If you are lucky, you will find the dead, if you're unlucky, they disappear. You never find them, and they remain buried there", she says.
Having experienced a similar tragedy served as inspiration to entrepreneur Victoire Shukuru.
"When I witnessed this drama, it revolutionized something inside me and pushed me to find certain solutions. Given that I am in the digital field, I said to myself I had to create a digital solution that can help our brothers who – for lack of other opportunities – resort to mining to find a means of survival", says Shukuru.
For this entrepreneur and many miners this system offers new hope in dealing with a problem that has claimed thousands of lives.