3 November, Abuja - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with EpiAFRIC, Reboot and Nigeria Health Watch have announced RecyclePoints as the winner of the #Hack4COVIDWaste, a hackathon designed to develop solutions to help combat the issue of management and disposal of COVID-19 waste in Nigeria. The hackathon was supported by a UNDP regional initiative in response to the pandemic under the auspices of the Swedish-funded Sahel Resilience Project.
The hackathon received over 200 applications from contenders across the country and through a competitive process, 10 shortlisted teams were selected to compete as finalists. RecyclePoints, a social corporate enterprise that engages communities and corporate organizations in the collection of post-consumer waste for recycling, emerged as the winner with their eco-friendly waste management solution.
The two-day hackathon involved shortlisted teams taking their ideas through a design thinking process and pitching sessions, followed by mentorship from industry experts to further refine their solutions. Teams then had the opportunity to pitch their COVID-19 waste management idea to a panel of judges who assessed the technical innovation of each solution, its creativity and the strength of the solution’s business model.
Recyclepoints proposed solution involves the use of paper-based corrugated boxes for the collection of recyclable medical waste which would be further processed into plastic plumbers for the production of school chairs as well as other medical products like surgical gloves and face masks. The solution also proposes the adoption of mobile apps to monitor the storage levels of waste bins, tracking of recyclable materials collected and the provisioning of incentives to partner hospitals.
According to Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor, CEO EpiAfric, “We are extremely impressed with the team at RecyclePoints and how their solution would repurpose COVID-19 waste. Their innovative idea will not only protect the environment but also reduce reinfection, contribute to climate change mitigation and empower Nigerians economically”.
At the winners announcement, William Tsuma, Senior Programme Manager UNDP Nigeria said, “Safe and effective waste management is critical to human development and health outcomes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This #Hack4COVIDWaste hackathon has provided an opportunity to to build an ecosystem of solutions towards solving the issue of COVID-19 waste management, while helping to connect teams to mentors and partners for longer-term recovery efforts. We have seen incredible local talent, including the winner Recyclepoints, rise to the challenge and we are confident that these solutions will help to create lasting impact”.
The UNDP Nigeria, EpiAFRIC, Reboot and Nigeria Health Watch would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s #Hack4COVIDwaste hackathon and have pledged to continue to engage broadly with partners to explore ways in which further support can be provided to deploy solutions at scale.
As the United Nations lead agency on international development, UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities, and to build resilience to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Our work is concentrated in three focus areas; sustainable development, democratic governance and peace building, and climate and disaster resilience.
EpiAFRIC is a globally competitive, efficient and transparent African health consultancy. The organisation has an in-depth understanding of the African health landscape, enriched by it culture of delivery from its international experience and socially aware ethos. The consulting work has focused on improving population health through expert research and data analysis, project design and evaluation, health communication, advocacy and training.
About Nigeria Health Watch
Nigeria Health Watch uses informed advocacy and communication to influence health policy and seek better health and access to healthcare in Nigeria. We seek to amplify some of the great work happening in the health sector, challenge the bad, and create a space for positive ideas and action. Through its various platforms, Nigeria Health Watch is a trusted source that provides informed commentary and in-depth analysis of health issues in Nigeria, always in good conscience. Learn more at www.nigeriahealthwatch.com
Reboot is a social impact firm dedicated to inclusive development and accountable governance. We help governments, foundations, and international organizations achieve their missions. We explore the origins of complex issues, design contextually appropriate interventions, bring these ideas to reality, and evaluate the results along the way. We incorporate institutional priorities and domain expertise to craft and implement interventions that are both innovative and practical.
For more information and questions about the hackathon please contact:
UNDP Alison Clement, Acting, Head of Communications and Partnerships
Phone number: +234 701 590 6558
Nigeria Health Watch: Uche Nwagboso, Communications Specialist
Phone number: +234 814 137 6913