BIUST commercial drones research team conducts aerial mapping with the department of town and country planning to collect development data in monarch

In its relentless pursuit to drive change the Botswana International University of Science & Technology (BIUST) engaged in the survey and mapping of the Monarch area in Francistown through the Commercial Drones Research Team. The 5-day initiative set emphasis on the BIUST values of using innovation and technology to address the needs of the country. The team comprised of the Lead Principal Investigator, Dr Thabo Semong, Drones Operations Manager, Dr Boyce Sigweni, the Lead Drones Pilot, Mr Ontiretse Bagwasi and the Safety Pilot, Mr Gape Montshiwa.

For his part the Lead Principal Investigator, Dr Thabo Semong stated that the drones research team conducts different applications using drones ranging from surveillance, drones pilot training, mapping, object tracking and recognition as well as the inspection of infrastructure. He further indicated that this is one of the many projects that they do with other industry stakeholders. Currently BIUST has more than 22 distinct types of drones which are used for different applications.The digital era has brought about pertinent advances in technology ;the drones are able to gather a realistic impression of the slum conditions in an area such as the quality of infrastructure, sewage connections as well as produce a geographical map of the local.

Monarch has been nominated as the pilot area for an initiative to improve informal settlements that will ultimately be rolled out to Peleng in Lobatse and Old Naledi in Gaborone. The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) is a project by African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, managed by UN-Habitat and funded by the European Commission.Its aim is to improve living conditions of the urban poor or slum dwellers in the ACP region.Botswana, through the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, applied to participate in the programme in November 2012 and an Agreement of Cooperation was signed in December 2014.

Data collected will assist decision makers, planners, and other stakeholders in planning for the needs of the neighbourhood. The intention is to come-up with tangible projects that will uplift the living conditions of the people of Monarch leveraging on the PSUP.

 

Botswana International University of Science & Technology