Computer programmers, designers, and other information technology specialists convened by the World Bank Group and technology partners at NASA, Google, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and Yahoo! will compete for 48 hours in cities around the world this weekend to develop new application software, or apps, that solve water and sanitation challenges in developing countries.
The first ever global WaterHackathon follows the model set by Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK), a partnership among these same organizations, in which subject matter experts and local stakeholders submit problem definitions which are then tackled by volunteer software developers who use the latest technology tools to create innovative solutions.
The first RHoK event in November 2009 gave rise to applications such as Im Ok! and Tweak the Tweet, which were used in emergency response operations following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
WaterHackathon will take place simultaneously in nine locations, including, among others, Bangalore, Lagos, Lima, Nairobi, and Washington, DC.
Nigeria’s WaterHackathon is holding being hosted by www.cchubnigeria.com and a preparatory meeting was held last weekend, where experts suggested the following tools to address Nigeria’s water sector challenges:
- Water delivery measurement systems – software monitoring the amount of water delivered to houses
- Water locator – tool to find the nearest sources of water based on location
- Water census – a tool to determine how much water in Nigeria is govt provided and how much is self sourced and location
- Mobile tool to crowd source and track burst pipes and sources of leakages across our water distribution system
- Mobile games to educate Nigerians on use of water
- Mobile application to send alerts on bad drainages that are likely to contribute to flooding
- Sensors that can be tracked to show quality of water at different parts of the network. This would be an early warning system for contaminants
- Programme to recycle water with government support
- Water policing – mobile system for naming and shaming companies whose packaging clog drainages the most
- Mobile system to facilitate sharing of water sources for people with boreholes
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Follow the event live on Twitter at #waterhack.