Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Mbali - Light off web project

Today my beloved land of birth Ghana marks it's 56th year anniversary after gaining independence and also it's the first African country to gain freedom from colonial rule.

Ghana is now going through a period known as load-shedding. This is when different electrical grids in the country are rationed with power. So one section of the country may have power from 6am-6pm, and another section from 6pm-6am. Nowadays things are much better - they just cut off electricity without any warning whatsoever or the power fluctuates crazily and the electricity corporation thinks that is entirely normal. I decided to make some technological sense from this historic moment and also hope to extract some valuable feed back/data from the citizens of Ghana through this process.Light off is a term coined by Ghanaians which means power outage.

I'm a big fan of open source technologies so i decided to back this idea with a strong tech core and the platform i chose for this project was built by Africans ( An African open source innovation ) and it's Ushahidi. It is a tool to easily crowdsource information using multiple channels, including SMS, email, Twitter and the web.

It took me about thirty minutes to set it up on my server and also about another hour to configure it to suite my needs in terms of the site info, hash tags , categories ,maps e.t.c . I must admit it felt great using a platform that was made in Africa.I call this web project >> Mbali ( Swahili word which means " off " ) .  You can kindly open this link to view the project http://mbali.oasiswebsoft.com/

A few hours after i set it up online, I've received up to 600 reports from a staggering 439 unique reporters via the twitter hash tags #ECG #LightOff  etc ( See the image below - My ushahidi report dashboard )

This means that we can gather a lot of data from online users from this uncomfortable light situation and make some logical sense out of it. This is a simple crazy idea i have in mind , you can also add up to mine and make Mbali the next big thing. Send me a mail if you want to contribute or you can report any adverse effects of this "Light off" on the Mbali platform or the twitter hash tags. iraindolf[at]gmail.com Happy Independence !!!!!

We want knowledge, we want information, we want freedom. Hinder us not and aid us if you will. But dare not call yourselves civilized while we remain where we are. "Guido Sohne"

1 comment:

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