Author(s): Jake Wood

Can mirrors help fight the threat of extreme heat?

Upload your content
Kayalitsha, South Africa
Jason & Molly Kehrer / flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Most of the homes within these settlements are built using zinc-coated corrugated metal sheets, which rust, erode and trap in heat from the sun, making heatwaves increasingly dangerous for residents.


When you go to Greece or Spain or wherever, whole villages are usually painted white. This is the same idea.

According to Mr Dynes, “the problem with using paints, especially in the tropics, is that it soils very quickly and very easily because of the humidity and dust”.

What’s needed is something which is far more durable, lasts longer and is more effective.


Since having the reflective roof installed, Khadija said her “day-to-day living is much better, and I can get on with my life more comfortably”.


While on a small scale, this simple method is proving to be effective in reducing the impact of heat for individuals and families.

Explore further

Hazards Heatwave
Country and region Sierra Leone
Share this

Please note: Content is displayed as last posted by a PreventionWeb community member or editor. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNDRR, PreventionWeb, or its sponsors. See our terms of use

Is this page useful?

Yes No
Report an issue on this page

Thank you. If you have 2 minutes, we would benefit from additional feedback (link opens in a new window).