Open Data Day, Akure

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Space Club FUTA; on Open Data Day 2017 used OpenStreetMap, TeachOSM tasking manager, Remote Sensing and GIS tools to map garbage sites in Akure, Nigeria and track their exact locations, and the size and type of garbage. The data collected will be handed over to the agency in charge of clean up to help them organise the necessary logistics.

The goal of Open Data Day, Akure was simple, to raise awareness for open data by using the Environment as an example and demonstrating how data is being used by the club members to make the city cleaner. Keynote presentations were used to introduce key concepts and provide examples of open data. Subsequently, participants were asked to get their hands dirty and actually work with data to solve one of the major challenges within the environmental sector in the country

Urban waste is one of the major threats to global environment in the world today and also, it’s one of the cause of flooding and airborne diseases. As global civilization keeps improving, there is increase in commercial, residential and infrastructure development due to the population growth which has a negative impact on the environment if not properly planned, monitored and maintained.

We know there’s trash lying around. But in order to clean it up, we first have to get a clear picture of the situation. Mapping (Using Remote Sensing and GIS) can give us the exact location, amount, and type of garbage. This is essential to organize the logistics and the handling for clean-up by the Government, other agencies and NGOs. After it’s gone, this data is great for tracking our progress, and keeping tabs on these dump sites for the future.

But that’s not all. Perhaps the most important reason to map is to spread the message. If seeing is believing, then looking at a virtual map of overflowing trash sites will help open our eyes to the problem. And, hopefully, inspire people around to join us and do something about it.

Every year, 20 million tons of garbage is added to our oceans, 80% of it from mainland waste. That’s like dumping over 710,000 Boeing 737 airplanes into the ocean…each year.

Getting an exact measurement of how much waste has ended up in nature is difficult. But think about this. Out of the 1.3 billion tonnes of household waste generated per year, only about 258-368 million tons of trash end up in one of the 50 largest dumpsites. Where is the rest of it? (0.54Kg of waste is generated per day per person in Akure in Ondo state)

We are living in an era full of trash, and it’s clear the problem is massive, growing constantly and varies considerably by region. With this project using Open Data, better plans and more structure waste system can be made and enforced. Which is one of the major steps to take in promoting a better and improve environment and atmosphere. This will assist the government and NGOs in clearing of dumping site and make our city a better place to live in.

The Urban Mapping of Akure project is still in development phase and is currently online but organizers were incredibly excited to see participants working with the data provided by the government!

This event was made possible courtesy of Open knowledge international who gave the club a $300 grant to host the event.