Photo Credit: KT/ Fabien Mouret
Phnom Penh is one of the fastest growing cities in Asia. One of the side-effects of such rapid expansion is a struggle to contain waste management. For example, many Phnom Penh waterways are littered by so much trash that one can’t see the water’s surface beyond styrofoam containers and other plastic waste. Garbage on the street affects quality of life, slows down the already massive amounts of traffic, leads to health issues for citizens, and degrades the general appearance of the city. There has been an increase in flooding due to the accumulation of waste that blocks the draining systems, which has a detrimental impact on the native ecosystems of nearby rivers, canals, and lakes.
The newly formed ‘Go Green’ believes that this human-made pollution problem can be fixed by activists and advocates armed with an app that leverages the power of mobile phones, maps, and social media. The goal of ‘Go Green’ is to increase awareness of human impact on the environment and to engage community members, resulting in the change of attitude and behavior.
During a recent iCamp event organized by iLab Southeast Asia as part of the ICT4D Solution Incubator Cambodia, a InSTEDD developers in collaboration with Go Green created a rapid prototype for an app to engage citizens to address the pollution.
The iLab SEA has selected the ‘Go Green’ concept to be the first idea of the incubator initiative to progress to prototype and piloting phase. The ‘Go Green’ founders and iLab SEA teams are now preparing to build and pilot the application which they hope will enable citizens of Phnom Penh to act and report polluted areas using their phone.
Besides identifying areas that urgently need cleaning, the interactivity of the application will incentivize individuals to get involved and help to educate the users by sending pollution-related messages. The application will act as a tool to better coordinate ‘green’ activists to better organize their efforts and network with other like-minded citizens.
The ‘Go Green’ Smart Phone application will allow users to:
- Report on areas that need cleaning
- Confirm areas that are clean
- Create a map with points where garbage bins are located and are needed
- Gamify the collaborative experience, where users can win badges, earn points for getting involved, and challenge friends to earn the highest score
- Organize group clean-up events
- Seamlessly share updates from the app to social media
To get the success of the GoGreen project, GoGreen founder has built strong and sustainable partnerships with local businesses and ministries including Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Tourism, Cambodian Hotels Association, Youth groups, Phnom Penh municipalities, The American Embassy and Hotels and Businesses in Phnom Penh.
Ms. Natalja Rodionova, Managing Director of IT ACADEMY STEP and the co-founder of GoGreen volunteers’ group said — “GoGreen started organizing cleanups in Phnom Penh in 2016 and collected thousands kilos of garbage. But the job is not done. The change in actions and attitude is really needed. That is why we are excited about working on GoGreen app with InSTEDD iLab SEA team. We believe that this simple tool would help us to attract attention to the pollution problem in Phnom Penh reaching more people and, hopefully, municipalities. We just can’t keep waiting for someone to solve the problem – we need to take actions into our own hands and show we do care about the environment and our footprints.”
Ms. Channé Suy Lan, Regional Lead of the InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia said “If littering is contagious behaviour, our goal is to create a contagion of care, to join cleaning efforts and to create a movement to create lasting change in the community. It is our city, we want quality of life for our family and our children beyond just our home. Together, we can make a more clean livable and clean city with Go Green!”
Stay tuned to the InSTEDD blog for updates on Go Green and other solutions from the ICT4D solution incubator Cambodia, a project made possible by support from SPIDER Center, the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions.
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