quarta-feira, 6 de março de 2013

San-Trac at Sanitation App Challenge

While studying abroad, I took part on a UNICEF and Aalto University project, with the theme "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in schools in Uganda."

Among other results, we developed a remote monitoring system, which had a prototype installed in Kampala in June / July 2011. It eventually became an independent project, called San-Trac, and its development continues in Uganda and is now competing in the Sanitation Challenge App. We need your votes!

There are two ways to vote (YES!! You can vote twice if you want!)
1 - Access and choose http://sanitation.hackathome.com/online-competition/ San-Trac (a blue ball with ST), hover on "Vote now!" and click the FACEBOOK ICON! After logging in you should see a confirmation

2 - Send a tweet with the hashtags #SanHack and #Santrac. example:
Help us win the #SanHack, vote for #Santrac app! RT or vote online at http://bit.ly/109aAXV

We thank you for your support!

A brief description of the project for those of you interested:

We worked in the context of rural schools, particularly from Gulu, northern Uganda (yes, the land of "Kony 2012" for those who remember). In remote regions of our planet, it is still difficult to collect and transmit information. In particular, we found out that between detecting the need to build a new toilet in a school and getting it ready make take as long as a year, or even more.

A year! A school cannot be a whole year without toilet. And by "toilet", I mean this:

"Nope, that's not chocolate pudding."


With that in mind, the idea that emerged was to try to speed up the information flow. For this, we designed a Remote Monitoring System to check the condition of school facilities (latrines, water tanks, etc..) and periodically send reports via text messaging (SMS).

It is based on open-source technologies and low-cost components, making it scalable. The vision is that every school would be equipped with the system and send information to a central server capable of processing data and detect abnormal situations. In these cases, it would trigger an alarm, and one could then check if something is wrong in a particular school.

Prototype at UNICEF Uganda Innovation Center

Potentially, we can accelerate the construction of toilets / tanks / etc, but in addition, the system could help detect other events, such as droughts and population displacements due to droughts or conflicts.

We developed a prototype still in Finland, and this was installed at the UNICEF Uganda Innovation Center in June / July 2012. The development continued in Uganda during this period, and now is running for Sanitation App Challenge.

If you've read this far, you might also want to see photos of Uganda to get a better idea what I'm talking about.

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