“Technology for the sake of Technology is meaningless,” If you are a cisco certified expert then this statement should be one you have heard a thousand time from the cisco guru Jeremy. The same statement holds water today and Zimbabwean tech players will need to recite it more often than others.
We have interacted with startups quite often in our lifetime and unfortunately most of them are busy solving problems that we do not even have in Zimbabwe, problems like corruption, job search, transport, communication, etc and the recent move by World Bank deserves the big thumbs up.
Yesterday, the first ever water and sanitation Hackathon went live in Zimbabwe, trending under the hash tag #Zimwaterhack sponsored by World Bank. This Hackathon seeks to address water and sanitation community problems in Zimbabwe, at the Harare Institute of Technology in Harare.
Innovative minds from all around Zimbabwe got together and are in the process of cracking their minds in trying to find solutions and develop apps within the 48 hour period that they were given.
E-council seeks to address communication problems between local authorities and people.E-council sited lack of communication between local authorities and people from communities as they realised people would spend ages without any help from Authorities.
With E-council,members of the affected community can take pictures of the affected area and upload them to E-council,The more pictures of an affected area are uploaded, the more priority it is given hence giving local authorities the information they require prompting them to take charge and solve the problem.It also gives the local authorities GPS of the area where the picture was taken thus location is given to them.
Team Oasis is a 7 member group of post graduates and undergraduates which is addressing information systems surrounding water and sanitation issues in communities.Thus this groups seeks to gather in formation and data and provide analyses for the related authorities.
After that ,they will try and automate using ICT of ways in which data is allocated and seeks to address water resources management.Through surveys this group will provide the best possible way to help related authorities recognise areas that need immediate attention.
Team Water Protosol
This group seeks to create problem solving solutions.Their APP called Klin drops is addressing water,sewer leakages and also want to address health problems and value addition to authorities.
The group will create a platform which makes data easily accessible for local authorities.People on the other hand are also given a platform to air their grievances.Team Water Protosol seeks to create awareness through roadshows,workshops and promotions.
A five member group which provides information on the informal settlement.Their justification for this app is that a lot of squatters suffer from lack of sanitation and are not provided with adequate help because no one has information about them in time. So this Android App seeks to speed up the process of collection of data about these informal settlers. It gives related authorities and organizations like NGOs and enables them to get information about this within about 6 weeks instead of a year or more.
This App seeks to address problems faced by communities.It gives a two way platform
for the affected authorities and and the local people especially problems like sewer and refuse collection. Hence people will express their grievances and alert the authorities .
The most interesting thing about this App is it has a donation platform where people can donate anything that will help in addressing the sited problems.Hence people can cooperate and do it for themselves if authorities are not helping out.
Lastly the final group which hasn’t figured out a name yet are producing a mobile application and moderate interface giving people a platform for communicating between people and authorities.This is more or less similar to E-council because it allows people to take pictures and upload them on a platform and alerts the local authorities.Authorities will then use maps through the moderate interface to locate the affected area and whatever picture is uploaded, is attended to, as all the solved places are marked attended. Hence it addresses the need for fast responses.
These innovative developers are working tirelessly with the judgement of these projects being held tommorrow.
The problem which was sited by some of the organiserz was that the groups were developing more or less similar application that address problems in a similar way.Hence they were encouraged to think deeper and be more creative.
The final assessment and judgement will be held tommorrow at the same venue.