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35 Teams To Pitch For Sanitation Hackathon

By Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri
35 Teams To Pitch For Sanitation Hackathon
LISTEN NOV 17, 2018

35 teams out of 300 have been selected for the final stage of the Sanitation Hackathon to compete for the ultimate prize starting from 17th to 19th November 2018.

The teams are expected to provide digital solutions to the sanitation challenges by presenting and defending their ideas, mobile applications and projects to a panel of experts for consideration, organized by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources with support from World Bank Ghana.

The winners, which will be announced on the last day of the competition, 19th November coincides with the World Toilet Day under the theme, “When Nature Calls.”

The ultimate winner will take home US$5000 chopable cash, the second winning team will receive US$3000 and the third winner takes home US$2000.

Addressing the participants, the Director of Environmental and Sanitation Directorate, Ing. Anthony Mensah, who spoke on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, said, the sanitation challenges confronting the country requires innovative and sustainable solutions to achieve the Clean Ghana Agenda.

He noted that the solutions for improved sanitation in Ghana need to be more comprehensive and agile addressing the entire sanitation value chain including collection, transportation, disposal and treatment; seriously considering desludging and treatment services.

Ing. Anthony Mensah added that the rather soft components of the chain such as awareness and behaviour change communication, business development and partnerships must also be fully integrated in the solution.

He said, it is based on this firm commitment that the Ministry has assembled young programmers, sanitation and/or IT experts to identify and solve issues of sanitation using technology called Sanitation Hackathon.

According to him, the Sanitation Hackathon is expected to provide working solutions for the Ministry to mainstream and scale up successfully to promote sanitation in Ghana.

“It is our hope that this Hackathon will provide the opportunity for young and bright minds such as yours to come together to deliberate on creative solutions,” he stated.

Mr. Mensah assured that the Ministry with the support of the World Bank will ensure that winning solutions are rolled out for implementation on a wider scale in partnership with some reputable entrepreneurial development centers in the country.

He urged the participating teams to put in their maximum best to contribute to the development of Ghana our motherland.

“Your idea that would be developed during these three days could be the panacea to the sanitation challenge confronting our dear country,” Mr. Mensah intimated.

The Country Director for The World Bank, Henry Kerali indicated the Sanitation Hackathon is an opportunity for Software Developers including Computer Programmers, Graphic and Interface Designers to come together with experts in Sanitation and Solid Waste Management to create implementable digital solutions to deal with these challenges.

He noted that his outfit has supported many activities aimed at addressing the Liquid and Solid Waste challenges facing Ghana - including the ongoing GAMA Sanitation and water project, which financed construction of over 12,000 Individual household toilets in the GAMA area in 2018.

“We are looking forward to doubling this figure in the next few months with the current rate of over 1,000 toilets completed each month in the last 8 months. Much work remains to be done to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa,” he stated.

Mr. Kerali added that the World Bank is working with government to prepare the Greater Accra Resilent and Integrated Development Project, which will address drainage and flooding, solid waste management and urban renewal of selected low-income communities in the Odaw Basin.

“The Hackathon has been scheduled to end on that day on purpose since we are expecting to have some innovative digital solutions to help curb Open Defecation in Ghana among others. It is our desire that the solutions that will come out of this Sanitation Hackathon can be successfully implemented and not kept on the shelves or in a cloud,” he opined.

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Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri
Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri

Editor

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