The World Bank through its developmental social responsibility program has stirred up creativity and solution builders by holding the Zim 2016 Water & Sanitation Hackathon at the Harare Institute of Technology last Saturday.
The objective of this event is to raise awareness and showcase the potential of local developers to craft innovative technical solutions and applications for addressing the challenges of water and sanitation service delivery in Zimbabwe.
Team E-Council one of the group participants walked away with the first prize after the judges rated them the most outstanding technocrats who came up viable business solution.
They managed to develop a user friendly application that could be used by every citizen to interface with the City Councils for solving water and sanitation problems. They also developed a website for the City Council where customers can report faults that will be classified by Dashboard hits. Also their system was developed to collect demographic data that can be supplied to other NGO’s when needed. Their prize included Free ADSL Fiber installations to each member’s residential home with three months subscriptions.
By Shingie Levison Muringi
The World Bank decided to hold this year’s Hackathon at HIT since the Institute has become one of Zimbabwe’s technological strongholds. To aid their choice, HIT has become a major mentor of IT gurus and technocrats in the previous years.
The World Bank set up a very experienced panel to help the group of HIT students who were tasked to develop business solutions that could help the Zimbabwe City Councils to deliver clean water and improve sanitation services to the citizens. The panel was divided into two groups of Judges and Mentors.
The panel of judges comprised of Alan Du Randt, the Managing Director of Vita Nova, a commercial enterprise which offers water treatment services in Zimbabwe. Margret Chipunza, the Chief Financial Officer of African Century Limited, Geoff Goss the founder of Matamba Anonaka, Medicine Mavhondo the Managing Director of Advisory Brainworks Capital, and Nyaradzo Nyimo Mudzamiri the CFA Consultant with OK Zimbabwe all completed the experienced panel of Judges. Their duty was to adjudicate on all the presentations and chose the best solutions.
The panel of mentors included Takunda Chingonzo the co-founder of Neolab Technology, Constantine Nyanzero an enterprise development specialist working with Udugu Insitute, Bernard Juru a technology activists who is the head coordinator of Muzinda Hub, Brian Chatterton the founder of Quick Online Reference Pvt Ltd, Tawanda Kembo a fourth generation entrepreneur who is currently running Venture Capital, McCloud Mungofa the founder of Stimulus Hub, and Sandiswe Chikomborero Buhle who is former Miss Earth Zimbabwe 2014. Their duty was to provide guidelines and direction to the students during the 48 hour marathon Hackathon.
The HIT students in the Science and Technology faculty were grouped in six groups namely Team Oasis, Team DARA, Team E-Council, Team Klin Drops, Team ZIMWASA and Team Tech1. The teams were assigned to develop a business solution each, that can be adopted by the Zimbabwe Water Supply Authority and City Councils to deliver clean water and up to standard sanitation services.
The 48 Marathon started on Friday until Saturday afternoon when they had to stand in front of the judges to present their solutions. All we noted during the exhibitions was the immense talent available in our institutions. The groups developed applications and websites that could be used by the general citizens to interface with the City Council authorities to report faults, query responsible departments for maintenance issues and help to provide solutions while providing sustainable business solutions to authorities.
Team E-Council walked away with the first prize after the judges rated them as the best presenters and technocrats of a viable business solution. They managed to develop a user friendly application that could be used by every citizen to interface with the City Councils for solving water and sanitation problems. They also developed a website for the City Council where customers can report faults that will be classified by Dashboard hits. Also their system was developed to collect demographic data that can be supplied to other NGO’s when needed. Their prize included Free ADSL Fiber installations to each member’s residential home with three months subscriptions.
Team DARA walked away with the 2nd prize after coming second with the best business solution. They managed to develop a mobile application support that can be used to provide a direct user interface between the citizen and the council authorities. The application was designed to provide instant communication and feedback in the city council system. They were awarded free one week training at Solution Center for any tech courses of their choices.
Team ZIMWASA walked away with 3rd prize after coming third with the best viable business solution. Their solution included an approach of empowering women to take charge of water and sanitation matters since they are the mothers of the nation. Their idea provided two mobile application support for both the City Councils and their residents. These solution was also capable of collecting statistics that could be of importance to NGO’s and the governments in the future. Their prize included smart devices that were going to be provided by Solution Center.
Speaking to Margret Chipunza and Alan Du Randt who led the panel of judges, they said the adjudication of the exhibitions was based on creativity, thinking outsized the box, originality & versatility, an advanced approach to solving problems, and producing a socially, environmental sound and sustainable business solution.