OpenStreetMapUganda carried out a demonstration drone training with the GIS staff from National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to equip them with the skills to use drone technology to improve monitoring and conservation of the environment across the country.

Drone Training

MapUganda trainer Ronald Oyom with NEMA staff in Kakiri along Hoima road

In recent times drones have become the go-to tools and technology needed to acquire quick to update aerial images. These aerial images with the help image processing software and GIS tools can assist environmentalists quickly assess land cover and vegetation change high resolution imagery analysis. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is a semi-autonomous government institution in Uganda charged with the responsibility of coordinating, monitoring, regulating and supervising environmental management in the country. NEMA was aiming at finding out how drones can be used to monitor and manage the environment, and which kind of drones are efficient for that specific work (disaster mapping, atmospheric observations, mapping soil surface characteristics and change detection).

Emma Showing Drone To Nema Stuff

MapUganda Trainer Emmanuel Adiiba Explaining what a drone can do

Demonstrating the drone technology to assess the training needs at NEMA which included establishing a plan to train their entire GIS team, supporting the staff point out how and when they can incorporate drone technology in the organisation’s works of environmental conservation and to find out which drones are suitable for the best results in environmental conservation. The use of drones has many advantages in environmental monitoring and management of wetlands, forests, industrial gases and emissions etc as compared to the traditional means.

It is not an easy task to monitor a conservation unit, it commonly means walking and driving hundreds of hectares of land and water to monitor and patrol. Drones are not only a cheaper and faster option but also give more accurate and clearer outcomes in regards to imagery and analysis.

OpenStreetMap Uganda has participated in drone training with different private and humanitarian organisations which include Red Cross Uganda, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), UNDP to support their teams gain skills and benefit from drone technology.