Mozambique uses relief drones in disaster areas

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

Mozambique’s National Disaster Management Institute (INGC) has revealed that it used drones in its relief work.

Briefing visiting Queen Mathilde of Belgium on how it is using the flying objects to assist with the delivery of emergency aid, said they are used for mapping for both disaster prevention and response

The briefing took place at the headquarters of INGC in Maputo during a meeting between Queen Mathilde and INGC general director, Augusta Maita, who explained how the drones are used.

Shortly after the briefing, Maita shared with the Queen real-time images which allowed his organisation to respond rapidly to populations hit by flooding.

He noted that this was of particular interest to Queen Mathilde.

INGC is already struggling to get food and clean water to thousands of victims of flooding, and it fears the worst could be yet to come as the rainy season gets underway.

Low-lying areas of Mozambique, a tropical African nation with a huge Indian Ocean coastline, are often hit by floods, which in some years in the past have killed hundreds of people.

Queen Mathilde was on a working visit to INGC to see the work it is carrying out with funds from the Belgian government.

In particular, the United Nations World Food Programme is working with the Mozambican
government on the effective use of unmanned aerial vehicle technology drones for emergency response across the country.

According to WFP’s country representative Karin Manente, “Belgian funding was seminal to this project, currently funded by the European Union’s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. We are grateful to Belgium for enabling the World Food Programme to support the Mozambican government’s efforts to enhance national
disaster risk management systems”.

Before the briefing on Wednesday, Queen Mathilde met with President Filipe Nyusi.

Later in the day she delivered a speech at Mozambique’s oldest institution of higher education, the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) during which she said “it is essential to prevent malnutrition and starvation. You are the leaders of the future, make the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals your own”.

Queen Mathilde arrived in Mozambique on Monday and ended her visit on Thursday.


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