Published on The Water Blog

Ready, Set, Hack!

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After months of preparation, the Sanitation Hackathon weekend is upon us.

In dozens of countries around the world, IT and sanitation experts will join forces for an intensive brainstorming and programming marathon to develop innovative applications for some of the world’s sanitation challenges.

In the last few months, sanitation wonks and their ICT counterparts met to identify priority sanitation challenges and potential technology solutions. Problems such as septic disposal, handwashing, open defecation, and behavior change, among others, will find themselves at the mercy of a group of determined programmers.

So how does this work exactly?

Take septic tanks as an example. Globally septic tanks are central to many sanitation systems but there are significant issues around construction and clean-up. One potential app idea is to inform households how to construct a proper septic tank, how frequently it needs to be cleaned, and when it’s time for emptying. Plus, the app could track where the waste is dumped to avoid the threat posed to the environment when it’s emptied into open drains and water bodies. This is one example but there are more than a hundred problem statements for the teams this weekend to choose.

While this weekend is important for the Sanitation Hackathon community, Sunday is really just the beginning. It will continue, virtually, for the months to come as apps are iterated and operationalized. Follow the events this weekend and beyond at #SanHack. We hope to hear from you.

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