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Training on drone technology for aerial mapping and spatial analysis in Seychelles

The training has been divided into two thematic workshops with the first being a crash course on applying drones to disaster and risk management.


Devdiscourse News Desk 10 Apr 2018, 02:28 PM Seychelles
  • Mr. Labaleine is lobbying for this idea to become a reality through public-private partnerships. (Image credit: Representative Image)

A wide range of stakeholders from governmental and non-governmental sectors have embarked on an eight-day training on how to apply drone technology for aerial mapping and spatial analysis.

The ‘Drones for Development Study Tour’ was launched yesterday at the University of Seychelles (UniSey) campus. It is being organized by the World Bank and its Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and Seychelles’ Department of Risk and Disaster Management (DRDM).

The training has been divided into two thematic workshops with the first being a crash course on applying drones to disaster and risk management.

In this regard, relevant stakeholders such as DRDM officers and Seychelles Police Force representatives will learn how to take aerial views to map disaster areas with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, and how to apply these images to their operations.

The second thematic workshop is based on general mapping and involves stakeholders such as technicians from the Ministry of Habitat, Infrastructure and Land Transport who will use the drone imaging for high-resolution mapping of the main islands’ coastlines.

The launch ceremony was an introductory session on the various low-cost drones available and their various prospective applications.

Yves Barthélemy, the study tour coordinator, and GIS expert provided examples of how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can provide help in moments of disasters and during humanitarian work.

“Drones are being used more and more by international organizations like the World Food programme in a lot of countries. They are also used for disaster management in countries affected by cyclones and earthquakes as well as for prevention,” said Mr. Barthélemy.

Low-cost drones such as the eBee and the Phantom drone has over the last two years become a popular tool for recreational and civilian use.

The design of these drones is being created in such a way that it helps them in being fast, robust and agile. This will help in empowering response teams and will also have positive effects on the cost. As drones are being flown separately, this makes them easily accessible to the places area that is hard or unsafe to reach for the human beings.

“We hope that participants will have gained sufficient knowledge about the possibilities, risks, and opportunities of drones by the end of this workshop,” Mr. Barthélemy underlined.

The session also included a presentation by drone pilot and expert, Yussuf Said Yussuf, on the multi-award Zanzibar Mapping Initiative which is creating a high-resolution map of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, over 2300km2, using low-cost drones instead of satellite images or manned planes.

This was followed by the demonstration of the eBee and Phantom drones flight simulation.

DRDM Director General, Paul Labaleine said that the training marks the beginning of the possible introduction of drones in local data collecting.

“We have gathered our public and private sectorial partners within this training programme with the aim of finding innovative ways to update our mapping system and to adopt advanced technology in the public service,” Mr. Labaleine stated.

He further added that data collection and updated information are essential to DRDM’s operations.

“We are currently working on a project to map out the country’s rivers and waterways in order to be prepared for cases of flooding as well as a complete profile of all the districts. The use of drone technology would be extremely useful in these types of projects,” Mr. Labaleine explained.

Mr. Labaleine is lobbying for this idea to become a reality through public-private partnerships.

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