| 13.11.2020

Proposal for safe water supply won the HUMLOG Challenge

HUMLOG Challenge Los Andes
A group of students, who presented a solution to how the indigenous community Wayuu in South America could secure access to safe water for hand washing and hygiene, have won the science competition organised by the HUMLOG Institute at Hanken School of Economics.

During the month of October, over four hundred students from 16 countries and six continents, worked to identify and frame problems found in supply chains within their local communities. The competition entries held a high standard and showed exceptional innovation.

The Los Andes team, from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, secured the victory with the topic Fog catcher systems in the desert of La Guajira: Analysis of the water supply chain disruption caused by COVID-19. The team investigated how to provide clean water to the indigenous community Wayuu, who live on the Guajira peninsula in northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.

The panel of esteemed judges was led by Hanken School of Economic’s professor Gyöngyi Kovács. Her thoughts on the winner:
- The problem is relevant both overall to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also addresses the context of the indigenous community of the Wayuu. The team has managed to delineate the problem from the user and health authorities’ perspective and ascertain that the solution is technically feasible, and suppliers and materials would exist in the region. The recommended solution overcomes the problem of shipping water, as well as access to safe water.

In second place was Team WU from Wirtschaftsuniversität in Vienna with the topic Mobile COVID-19 testing in Vienna during flu season. Third place was secured by Team Houston from the University of Houston, Texas, USA with the topic Sourcing PPE during COVID-19 in Harris County, Texas.

The winning team earned both a mentoring session and the 5,000 USD scholarship award that will contribute to their ongoing education.

The HUMLOG Challenge competition was arranged by Hanken’s HUMLOG Institute for research in humanitarian logistics, together with the Global Business School Network.