Forest body uses drone technology

Saturday June 30 2018


By Gadiosa Lamtey @gadiosa2

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Forest Services (TFS), in ensuring the coastal areas are safe and attract tourists, has started a trial where it uses drone camera technology to assess the mangrove damage at Rufuji Delta.

TFS in collaboration with Waterland International is implementing a five-year project known as Capital Mangrove in Africa at Rufiji delta that intends to preserve the mangrove for future generations.

The project started in February, this year, and is set to reach an end in 2021, whereby it will involve three factors including education, accessing the status of the mangrove and planting of new trees. TFS chief executive officer, Prof Dos Santos Silayo, told The Citizen yesterday that: “We have started using drones that have the ability to go up to 15 kilometres to assess the level of damage.”

Prof Silayo added that currently there were two drones, adding that by end of August, this year, they would deploy another two with a capacity of going up to 17 kilometres. He said they decided to use the technology because most of the area covered by mangroves was not easily accessible.

“We have discovered in the delta there is massive deforestation by people. Therefore, we must protect it to ensure that the area remains safe because it is very special in Africa for mangrove conservation. In Africa, Rufiji is one of largest deltas with a lot of mangroves and the first to be preserved in the country on estimated 53,000 hectares,” said the TFS Boss.

with eight different types of mangrove trees,”

The project together with others things will encourage communities to protect the mangrove and to educate them on how they can engage in other activities rather than to burn the forests.

Also the project will involve in plant other mangrove as in that areas as there some residents cultivation rice that has ruined the trees. Also the project will evaluate the status of the mangrove.

In Africa, Tanzania is ranking number nine for large area with mangrove tress whereby Nigeria in the first. But Tanzania is the only country in Africa with mangrove area that is protected.