Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has lauded the information technology solution initiative; ‘Sanitation Hackathon,’ to tackle the many environmental and climate change related challenges and provide maximum health benefits to the people.
Mrs Dapaah gave the commendation when she presented cheques for 30,000 and 20,000 dollars to ICESSPOOL and NSUO APP, respectively, which are youth groups that emerged winners of the Sanitation Hackathon competition in November, 2018, out of the 35 teams that contested.
The competition was funded by the Ministry, in collaboration with the World Bank. The Sanitation Hackathon was an opportunity for the youth in software development to come together with experts to find digital solution to solid waste management.
It was to help build the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development Project to address drainage, flooding, and solid waste management in selected low-income communities using digital solutions.
By this intervention, ICESSPOOL developed a software carefully tailored to assist households to locate the nearest ICESSPOOL truck to provide desludging services.
The initiate is to manage the service cost, monitor compliance with industry Code of Conduct, health and safety standards, and routes of trucks to prevent indiscriminate dumping of faecal sludge at unapproved points.
This would help resolve issues of households roaming in search of a service provider while the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) would have the opportunity to use the ICESSPOOL Secretariat as a call centre to prevent dumping of faecal sludge in the environment by the trucks.
The NSUO App group, who emerged second, developed a platform that would facilitate the delivery of water to consumers and the collection and recycling of plastic waste.
The App seeks to create a sustainable business with the goal of eliminating plastic waste and providing clean water.
It comes in the form of using USSD code from which customers can order water products and request waste pickups.
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The households and institutions will be incentivised to continue recycling through discounts and rewards while the plastic collections would be put into useful products.
Mrs Dapaah said the introduction of a digital solution was a key development intervention to deal with waste management and environmental sanitation.
She said Government had thrown a challenge to the private sector to serve as the engine of growth, hence the need to work in collaboration with stakeholders to come out with the latest technology in waste management in the country.
She said various initiatives introduced by the Government to promote digitisation had presented opportunities for the youth and how their talents could be harnessed for the country’s growth.
Mrs Dapaah congratulated the World Bank and the youth groups for the initiative and urged them to keep their focus to reach the highest level.
Mr Harold Esseku, the World Bank Representative, said the Bank had supported many activities aimed at addressing the liquid and solid waste challenges facing Ghana, including the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP).
The GAMA-SWP is government’s project to increase access to improved sanitation and water supply in the Metropolis, with emphasis on low-income communities and to strengthen management of environmental sanitation.