For 48 hours, seventy (70) software developers (mainly students) and professionals in the water sector worked tirelessly and developed applications that address a number of water problems that Ugandans are currently experiencing like low safe water coverage.
These developers participated in the WaterHackathon Event that was held at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), Makerere University from 21st to 23rd October, 2011. The WaterHackathon is the first global event of its kind where water experts with technologists gathered to create ICT solutions to water challenges. In addition to Kampala, WaterHackathon was also held simultaneously in Bangalore, Cairo, Lagos, London, Nairobi, Tel Aviv and Washington D.C. It is important to note that Uganda had the highest number of projects developed over the 48 hours and Makerere University was the only participating University in all the 10 cities. According to Mr. Michael Niyitegeka, the CollegeÃ¢‚¬„¢s Head, Corporate Relations, this was an indication of the potential that we have as a country to solve our own problems.
The hackers developed seven applications to help address problems like lack of water and adequate sanitation. The best overall application, DEWS (Disaster, Environment, Water and Sanitation) is a tool that crowd sources all the water-related problems and visualizes them to give communities a voice, while the best Mobile App; Mazzi Trendz, is an android mobile tool used to help consumers visualize their water usage over time. Other solutions developed included: Loopa, Water Fix, Wash Reporter, Map the crap and Water Crusaders.
During the event, Christine Ampaire a second-year Software Engineering student was nominated the World Bank Water Hackathon Ambassador and will serve in this position for one year to spearhead the implementation of some of the solutions that were developed. Ampaire was also recently appointed as the Google Student Ambassador Makerere University for one year.
WaterHackathon was sponsored by the World Bank, MTN Uganda, Random Hack of Kindness, Ugo and CoCIS.
Visit http://gtugkampala.blogspot.com/for more information on the projects.