After hearing of the events in Flint, Michigan a local startup community leader Jim Welch has decided to do an emergency three-day hackathon to bring awareness to, and hopefully help create solutions for the water crisis. It’s about taking an idea and making a practical application that can help people in crisis.
Welch has partnered with Startup Weekend, Fort Work, and other organizations and community members to host the weekend-long event for tech experts to present novel ways to help the people of Flint and surrounding cities find a way to quickly improve the quality and safety of their local water. Param Jaggi, a DFW native and founder of Ecoviate, will serve as guest speaker at the event.
“I’m personally really excited to not only help Flint and bring attention to Dallas, but also prevent this problem from happening in other cities,” said Mark Hopkins, a spokesman for Startup Weekend: Fight for Flint.
Thousands of children and adults in Flint have been exposed to the contaminated drinking water containing dangerous levels of lead. Exposure to lead can have negative affects on brain development and behavior in children and can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, and infertility in women according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Anemia, kidney failure, and brain damage are also among the health risks associated with lead poisoning.
As local government works to figure out ways to replace pipes, Startup Weekend—Dallas is collecting donations of water bottles in quantities of six, eight and ten as a stopgap measure to donate to Flint to keep people from having to drink lead-tainted water. You can find out more about Startup Weekend Fight for Flint at their website here.