Using a GPS-linked system, an Ireland-based company, aims to help locate dwellings in slums across the world.
The man who developed the project Alex Pigot earned praise yesterday from delegates at the World Postal Congress after he presented the project on the postal conclave day.
Pigot, who is the chairman and managing director of Go Code, has named the programme ‘Addressing the Unaddressed’. Pilot experiments were held at a slum in Chetla, in India’s Kolkata city, which has around 250,000 inhabitants.
This ambitious project will cover around 300,000 dwellings in different Kolkata slums. It will be implemented by Pigot and the NGO Hope Kolkata Foundation, led by Maureen Forrest, a nun working for the uplift of Kolkata slum dwellers.
Pigot said studies he conducted along with Lingaraju Sahu, an engineer with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), found that using the GPS system and code numbers for the dwellings covered, they could provide a residential address to people in densely populated slums wherever they are.
“No major city in Asia, South America and Africa is without a slum but nowhere are slums provided a postal address. This system would provide a lasting solution, he said while making a presentation during one of the sessions yesterday. He was answering one of the speakers, Tanzanian minister for lands, housing and human settlements development Anna Tibaijuka.
The minister is also UPU Special Ambassador for ‘Addressing the World –an address for everyone’, a UN initiative.
To implement the programme for the Kolkata slums, Pigot is looking for philanthropists and corporate houses, who could spend €300,000, which effectively means one euro for each dwelling.
As part of the project, every dwelling will be given a code number which will make it accessible through a GPS-linked sensor.
For the pilot project in Chetla, Pigot spent over 15,000 euros of his own. “Not only did we give code numbers to each dwelling in Chetla, we also developed a complete data base of their inhabitants using the services of the Hope Foundation,” he said.
After implementing the ‘Addressing the Unaddressed’ project in Kolkata, Pigot plans to take it to other cities in South America and Asia.