Team Nsuo App has been adjudged the overall winner of the maiden Sanitation Hackathon competition which was organized by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resource with support from World Bank Ghana.
For their prize, Team Nsuo App took home US$5000, five tablet and 6 months free data from Surfline.
Team Nsuo App notched 346 points out of the total score of 450 to beat 29 other teams.
According to the judges Team Nsuo developed the most viable and scalable digital solution to the sanitation menace in the country.
Team Beamers was adjudged first runner-up and smile home with a cool US$3000, tablets and 6months data from surfline after pulling 305points.
The second runner-up position went to Team Sani-GH who scored 295points out 450. For their prize, the team also received US$2000, tables and 6months data from Surfline.
In the special awards category, Team Kijani won the most innovative solution. Team Smart came top as the most promising digital solution, whiles Team Sani-Gh was awarded for their hard work, as best teamwork and commitment group.
35 teams were formed out of 300 applicants for the final stage of the Sanitation Hackathon which started on 17th to 19th November 2018. However, 5 teams opted out of the competition leaving 30 teams to compete for the ultimate.
The teams which were made up of Software Developers including Computer Programmers, Graphic and Interface Designers came together with experts in Sanitation and Solid Waste Management to create implementable digital solutions to deal with Ghana’s sanitation challenges.
At the end of the three days stay, the teams presented and defended their ideas, mobile applications and projects before a panel of experts for consideration.
Addressing participants and guest at the closing ceremony held at the Swiss Spirit Alisa hotel in Accra, the Chief Director of the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr. Joseph Obeng-Poku, who spoke on behalf the minister said both citizens, government and partners need to do things differently, before the country can achieve sanitation and water for all by 2030 target.
He hinted that currently, Ghana generates an estimated 16,000tonnes of solid waste daily which has to be safely managed.
According to the Chief Director of the Ministry for Sanitation and Water Resources, technology is playing a significant role in addressing some of the developmental challenges in the country.
Mr. Obeng-Poku explained that high penetration rate and usage of advance technology, affords the platform for long-term success and sustainability of solutions integrating Information Technology in sanitation.
He revealed that a 2018 report on the Ghanaian Mobile Phone Sector has shown that Ghana is one of Africa’s largest mobile technology markets with approximately 34.5 subscribers and a penetration rate of 119 per cent, while 10. 11 million- nearly one-third of the country’s population are active internet users.
Mr. Obeng-Poku assured that his outfit is focused on restoring the image of Ghana by eliminating open defecation.
According to him, the ministry is aggressively pursuing the one house, one toilet agenda of the government. In this light, the municipal and district assemblies across the country have been given specific timelines and outputs for the provision of household toilets to the citizens.
“The Assemblies have also been directed to enforce their bye laws in this regard,” he stated.
Mr. Obeng-Poku stressed that the GAMA Sanitation and Water Project has also constructed over 13,500 household toilets to support this agenda.
The project, he emphasized is expected to construct an additional 7000 toilets by the middle of 2019. The project is also constructing 406 institutional toilets in 246 schools across the Greater Accra to ensure that open defecation is eradicated in these schools. He added.
Mr. Obeng-Poku told the gathering that the ministry has put in place the necessary frameworks and initiatives to improve solid waste management in the country especially in Accra in order to make the capital city the cleanest city in Africa.
Story Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: email@example.com