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Workshop: Third Workshop on AI for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response

Mapping Access to Water and Sanitation in Colombia using Publicly Accessible Satellite Imagery, Crowd-sourced Geospatial Information, and Random Forests

Niccolo C Dejito


Up-to-date, granular, and reliable quality of life data is crucial for humanitarian organizations to develop targeted interventions for vulnerable communities, especially in times of crisis. One such quality of life data is access to water, sanitation and hygeine (WASH). Traditionally, data collection is done through door-to-door surveys sampled over large areas. Unfortunately, the huge costs associated with collecting these data deter more frequent and large-coverage surveys. To address this challenge, we have developed a scalable and inexpensive end-to-end WASH estimation workflow using a combination of machine learning and government census data, publicly available satellite images, and crowd-sourced geospatial information. We generate a map of WASH estimates at a granularity of 250m x 250m across the entire country of Colombia. The model was able to explain up to 65% of the variation in predicting access to water supply, sewage, and toilets. The code is made available with MIT License at