The COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting social distancing recommendations and related restrictions have led to numerous short-term changes in economic and social activity around the world. According to the International Labour Organization, as reported on the UN news site, the risks of food insecurity are now emerging because of containment measures, including border closures implemented by governments. While it is important for governments to ensure a reduction in the risks of inter-border infections, it is equally critical to ensure that the food supply chain is not disrupted.
We have come up with a solution that implements cross-border driver monitoring to address the issue of food supply-chain disruption. The success of our solution is, however, dependent on the collaboration between governments at all levels, and the private sector as part of a multi-pronged approach to fight COVID-19. Ensuring that the movement of food and other important materials can move across state borders safely, would require public health departments and the transport unions to:
• Test, Register and approve all inter-state truck drivers and their staff for each trip. This will require rapid testing methods for COVID-19. • Conduct periodic tests on all interstate drivers and update the records database. • Educate all drivers on COVID-19 and how to conduct themselves while in transit. • Use our software to monitor interstate drivers at state borders to verify from the digital travel records if the drivers have been approved for the ongoing trip.
Cross-border driver monitoring helps governments reduce transmission and ensure the food supply chain is not disrupted. This will mitigate the collateral impacts on children, women, and vulnerable populations. That’s why we recommend that adopting and deploying cross-border driver monitoring system is a key milestone to reopen economies.
What it does
- Government workers shall need to test and certify all drivers and their staff who are part of the food supply chain and who embark on interstate travel.
- The government workers shall be required to update the details of the truck and the identity of the driver into a central database.
- The government workers shall need to train the drivers and their support staff on self-isolation techniques while in transit.
- At all state borders, state health inspectors shall ensure all trucks carrying essential goods and the occupants are in the database. If they are not, passage shall be denied.
- State inspectors shall update entry logs for all truck that have successfully completed their trips.
How we built it
We used the python framework for developing the APIs, data storage was in Redis Data Server. We deployed the API on google app engine. We used Dialogflow which is a natural language understanding platform used to design and integrate a conversational user interface into the bot
Challenges we ran into
We realised that internet access may be a challenge in some locations in the country. Therefore, we could access the application via USSD technology
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We realised that with our passion for programming, we are able to provide solutions that can mitigate food insecurity and national poverty.
What we learned
We learnt that the successful deployment of technology would require interagency collaboration.
What's next for Cross-Border Driver Monitoring Using Interactive Chatbot
Develop and interactive interface using USSD