‘Drones for Resilience’ training workshop in partnership with Dhiraagu and UNDP Maldives concludes in Addu Atoll

Dhiraagu in partnership with UNDP Maldives has concluded a 2-day workshop on drone usage for resilient planning in Addu as part of a broader project; “Drones for Resilience’. The project aims to promote the usage of drone technology for disaster resilient local planning in Maldives.

Through the project, representatives from the Addu City Council, Maldives Red Crescent (MRC) Addu Branch, and Dhiraagu captured drone images of all inhabited islands of Addu City. Once the captured images are processed they will be used in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will assist in layering these images with risk and hazard information collected by MRC. These maps will then be used by Addu City Council for disaster aware, evidence-based planning. Council can also layer additional information and use it in city planning beyond just Disaster Risk Reduction.

Like other islands in the Maldives, Addu is also at constant risk from impacts of natural events such as tropical cyclones, storms, thunderstorms, drought, floods induced by heavy rainfall, storm surges, swell waves and tsunami as well as climate-related hazards such as accelerated sea-level rise, sea surface temperature rise, and changes in monsoon pattern. Addu is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, being located in the highest seismic hazard zone in Maldives as per the Disaster Risk Assessment Report (UNDP 2006).

“Environmental Sustainability is a key focus area in our CSR programme and we are happy with our involvement in this project which uses digital technology to build capacities for resilience and development” stated Athifa Ali, Director of Corporate Services.

Speaking of the project, the UNDP Assistant Resident Representative in the area of Resilience and Climate Change Mr. Ahmed Shifaz remarked “Our hope is that the project will benefit Addu City Council not just for disaster risk reduction but also as a useful tool for evidence based local development planning. Such risk informed planning will surely contribute to strengthen long term resilience of their communities”

The workshop, which comprises part of the project deliver information on drone technology, practical lessons on maneuvering drones, flight planning and execution, risks and limitations of drone mapping, and local regulations surrounding drone technology.

“Using the latest technology in the development and maintenance of land-use plans and related charts is known to dramatically increase speed and accuracy of the work. If charts are updated regularly using drone imagery, land use information will be available to us in an accurate and timely fashion” stated Mr. Abdullah Sodiq, the mayor of Addu City.

Dhiraagu and UNDP Maldives have had a successful history of collaborating together, with the launch of key initiatives such as the Startup Weekend Maldives (2017), Youth Leadership Programme (2018) and Film for Change in 2017 & 2018.

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