Sunday, October 23, 2011

Problems at Water Hackathon Kampala

The Water hackathon has been running from 21st - 23rd October 2011 at Makerere University. Close to 70 whackers ( mainly students) have come together to create innovative tech solutions around water problems. Seven problems are being solved at the moment and these include:

Water pollution is a very pressing issue given the poor drainage system in the country.
Loopa is an eco visualtool meant to crowd source pollution reports in one's area and visualize it. This will enable create awareness on water pollution hotspots and thus drive the need for action.

DEWS (Disaster, Environment, Water and Sanitation):
Communities would always want to speak out on water problems they face like cholera outbreaks, pipe breakages, but have the feeling they are not being heard. DEWS is a tool that crowdsources all the water related problems around water and visualizes them and gives communities a voice.

Water Crusaders:
Creating awareness around water related problems like sewage disposal in wetlands, should be fun and exciting. Therefore a team at the hackathon is coming up with an android water awareness game called water crusaders.

Mazzi Trendz
How many know how many gallons of water they consume daily? How many keep track of that water meter hidden in their basement? Water resource consumption is something we ignore yet very important! Mazzi Trendz is an android mobile tool to help consumers visualize their water usage over time. It helps us keep track of water usage in check regarding how we spend.

Map the Crap:
Cess pool emptiers spend a lot of resources going back and forth a given neighborhood trying to empty sewage pits of communities and thus sometimes waste resources where more than one person in the same neighborhood report the need to empty their sewage pits in an un cordinated way. These cess pool emptiers sometimes dump waste in areas not suitable for waste disposal. This app with provide visualizations of latrines that need emptying, thus saving cess pool emptiers many rounds in one area. It will also identify hotspots were crap is being dumped and needs to be removed.

Wash Reporter:
Wash (Water, Sanitation and Health) is a crowd funding and geo visualisation app that helps communities report Water, Sanitation and Health related problems and fundraise for them using Mobile Money, other payment systems . This can range from fundraising to build a water pipe to drilling a borehole. Communities out there are trying to fundraise for clean and safe water access.

This app is being developed as a dashboard to the consumer who uses the Uganda National Water and Sewage Corporation infrastructure. It enables the consumer report NWSC water related problems and get the nearest NWSC staff member available in the area to attend to the problem. This app is meant to improve response times to NWSC related problems. The app also makes use of social media by tracking and recording problems picked up from social media channels.

These problems were selected from a total of 16 problems that were defined.

All the best to the teams


  1. These are really Powerful solutions.
    Are stake holders like NWSC & MOH ready to offer support in the implimentation of some of these apps?

    Big-up to the event Organizers,
    Thanks to all the Whacker Teams,
    Thanks to all the Sponsors and CoCIS for hosting the event.