NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 – Team Nandozi comprising of two techies from Uganda are winners of the inaugural IGAD Climate Challenge Hackathon.
The team comprising of Isaac Abok and Noah Lubale beat 10 other finalists from East Africa with their video-based mobile game learning application incorporating environmental protection and management tutorials.
For their triumph, Team Nandozi took home USD1,500 and will benefit from both technical and financial support from partners including UNDP, IGAD Climate Prediction and Center (ICPAC), ResilientAfrica Network, Safaricom and Kenya Airways to enable them actualise their innovation.
Kenyan Team Bunifu from Baringo emerged second with their ‘Skizi SMS’ innovation taking home USD1,000 while Team Agri-Gap from Uganda emerged third with their ‘Farmers App’ that enables farmers make better decisions by accessing climatic information. They took home USD500.
“These games target 10 –to 12-year-olds increasing their knowledge and awareness about climate change, its negative effects and how to mitigate them with particular a particular focus on the Horn of Africa. Using their smart phones, the player will have to destroy greenhouse gases using trees, plant trees to counteract carbon emissions among other cool game mechanics that will resonate with the player while educating them at the same time,” said Noah Lubale about their winning innovation.
The winners were announced after a three-day event coded ‘Hack4Climate2016’ that brought together techies from the region who sought information technology solutions to climate change and climate induced disasters that affect the people in the Greater Horn of Africa. The solutions for climate change and climate-induced disasters were judged based on their sustainability model, cost effectiveness, scalability of the solution and clarity of the implementation plan.
“Drought should never cause famine in the horn of Africa region again. We have the mandate to ensure that we make use of technology to create innovative solutions that impact the communities around us and increases our disaster resilience as a region,” said Ambassador Mahboub M. Maalim, Executive Secretary at IGAD.
“The IGAD climate challenge hackathon seeks to demystify science to the communities that we live with, to create early warning systems and increase knowledge and awareness of the impact of climate change around us,” he added.
United Nations Development Programme has committed USD 30,000 to the initiative that will also see the establishment of the ICRILAB Innovation Centre and to the up scaling of the winning innovations.