While the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Africa is still relatively small, compared to the continent's population size, African governments are taking major steps to reduce the efficiency of the virus, and to potentially stop the virus from spreading. Nearly every country in the West African sub region has announced some form of restriction to movement including Africa’s most populous city, Lagos.
As residents increasingly adhere to Stay At Home and Work From Home orders, the delivery of grocery and food is becoming an even more essential aspect of our daily lives.Most stay-at-home orders continue exceptions for essential services, including grocery stores and restaurants, meaning they’ll likely continue operations even as many other businesses go on hiatus.
As the virus spreads and cases mount, and block downs increase, there are seemingly countless ways the food and groceries system will be tested and strained in the coming weeks and months. Today, there is no supply shortage in the sense of availability but there is obviously starting to be a supply shortage in terms of logistics, in the movement of food and grocery items, due to a rise in consumption at home.
The solution we've built
We have built a truly progressive web app, with a GPS-radius based listing service (users only get access to stores within their cities). This solution has been developed to help avoid eating and drinking in restaurants, bars, and food courts for improved social distancing ethics. The deliveries are mostly carried out by volunteers around them which ensure that users pay solely for what they are ordering for, with options to tip these volunteers in cash or in kind.
We have built a solution that;
- helps limit group exposure
- supports access to groceries and food for people who can’t cook for themselves due to disability or illness
- allows free and predictable flow of food and grocery assistance
- encourage the delivery of secured and protected in-kind food assistance and protection kits, when cash is not an option, to the most vulnerable during COVID19 (the elderly, persons with chronic diseases, the poor...)
All deliveries are made by dedicated neighbors from within our network of volunteers who commit to following health guidelines (ensuring social distancing, using gloves, and lots of hand washing!) These volunteers drop deliveries at the customer's doorstep and, if payment is required, the user can safely make a digital reimbursement for items ordered.
DeliveryNow Africa, as a platform, would waive delivery fees for users - which would in turn help small, medium, and independent businesses scale during Covid-19 - a vital step in limiting social gatherings.
What it does
This solution has been developed to help avoid eating and drinking in restaurants, bars, and food courts for improved social distancing ethics. This solution bridges the gap between the inside world (those staying at home) and the outside world (businesses looking to retain customers and users). This solution includes a wallet (where users could add money into their account) and a coupon (where businesses could offer discounts for users in the inside world) systems.
How we built it
We built a PHP backend with Laravel that provides streams of APIs where the ReactJS frontend connects to/ The volunteers (delivery personnels) of the software have been provided a seperate URL (https://deliverynow.org.ng/delivery) which can be accessed ONLY via mobile phones - as GPS is essentially required for tracking.
PayStack, Stripe, and Paypal payment gateways have been integrated, just so users have the options.
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge we ran into was team management and communication, most especially, since this hackathon is happening during Covid-19, the team members couldn't get to work on this solution at the same place, even though this project has been in development since January 2020. And siince it was crucial to manage time to fine-tune and complete most parts of the project within a short period of time, we separated the tasks and put the best effort to connect each other using various communication channels.
What's next for DeliveryNow Africa
To bridge the existing gaps between logistics and Africans.