Mobile phone application for public awareness and participation in solid waste management in Kenya
Mobile phones or smartphones are rapidly becoming the central computer and communication device in people‟s lives. Application delivery channels such as the Google Playstore are transforming mobile phones into App Phones, capable of downloading a myriad of applications in an instant. Importantly, today's smartphones are programmable and come with a growing set of cheap powerful embedded sensors, such as GPS, microphone, and camera, which are enabling the emergence of personal, group, and community scale sensing applications. Sensor-equipped mobile phones can revolutionize many sectors of our economy and among them is environmental monitoring. This dissertation involves environmental monitoring in particular public participation in solid waste management in urban areas. Despite efforts to encourage reuse, recycling and recovery, the amount of solid waste generated remains high and appears to be on the increase. With mobile phones becoming a part of many people‟s lives in Kenya, there is an opportunity to enhance the participation and awareness of solid waste management among the public. An analysis, design and development of a solid waste management awareness mobile application have been undertaken. The application has also been tested by the intended users of the system. The application entails reporting of areas polluted with solid waste, viewing areas near the user that are polluted on a map, searching for recyclers of solid waste and managing environmental cleanup events. Its implementation has involved the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) sensors found in smartphones to collect data of pollution reports and also locate polluted areas.