Bernard Makafui Agbelengar (left), Informatics Officer, GARID Project, briefing Osei Bonsu Amoah (3rd from right), Minister of State, Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, and other dignitaries on how the DJI Matrice 30 RTK Drone works. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
Bernard Makafui Agbelengar (left), Informatics Officer, GARID Project, briefing Osei Bonsu Amoah (3rd from right), Minister of State, Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, and other dignitaries on how the DJI Matrice 30 RTK Drone works. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY

Ministry hands over drones to 17 assemblies to police drains

The Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) yesterday handed over 19 drones to 17 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies in the Greater Accra Region. 

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Out of the 19 drones, two of them were presented to the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council (GRCC) and the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA) in Accra. The equipment was provided under the World  Bank funded Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project to enhance the capacity of the beneficiaries to effectively monitor the buffer zones of water bodies to prevent encroachment.

Additionally, the equipment is to help improve the surveillance of solid waste hotspots, particularly during the rainy season when some residents in the city have a penchant for throwing rubbish into drains indiscriminately.

The devices are also to equip the beneficiary assemblies to effectively oversee and address urban challenges in real time, thereby improving their overall disaster preparedness and response capabilities.

The 17 beneficiary assemblies are Accra Metropolitan Assembly; Ablekuma Central, North and West Municipal Assemblies; Adentan Municipal Assembly; Ayawaso Central, East, North and West Municipal Assemblies.

The rest are the Ga Central, East, North and West Municipal Assemblies; La Dade Kotopon Municipal Assembly; La-Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Assembly; Okaikwei North Municipal Assembly; and Korle-Klottey Municipal Assembly.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Minister of State at the MLGDRD, Osei Bonsu Amoah, said prior to the distribution of  the drones, thirty-seven officials from the beneficiary assemblies, the GRCC and LUSPA, received comprehensive training.

That training, he said, was conducted in collaboration with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). As a result, he observed that the beneficiary officials were well-equipped to utilise the drones efficiently and effectively.

Mr Amoah said the gesture was also to reaffirm the ministry's commitment to building a resilient and sustainable urban environment. He said the exercise would help equip and empower the assemblies with the requisite tools and resources needed to protect communities from the devastation impact of floods and to manage solid waste effectively.
 

Maintenance

The GARID Project Coordinator, Dr Kwadwo Ohene Sarfoh, cautioned the beneficiaries against using drones for their private activities like coverage of funerals and  naming ceremonies.

He reminded them that the fund used to purchase the equipment was a loan which every Ghanaian was paying, therefore, there was the need to adopt effective strategies to ensure that the devices were used for the intended purpose.

He said the equipment for each beneficiary included a one-year comprehensive insurance package. However, Dr Sarfoh explained that the beneficiary assemblies would be  responsible for providing subsequent comprehensive insurance policies when the initial one expired.
 

Aviation 

The Secretary of the National Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Implementation Committee of the Safety Regulation Department of the GCAA, George Amonoo, said there were regulations guiding the piloting of such drones, and encouraged the beneficiaries to read the manual on guidelines for their usage.

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