GARID project coordinator urges proper use of government drones

GARID project coordinator urges proper use of government drones

Dr Kojo Ohene Sarfo, Project Coordinator, Greater Resilience and Integrated Development (GARID) Project, has cautioned Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs) under the project not to use government drones for social events.

He said the drones were provided to strengthen the oversight capacity of the various Assemblies, and address urban challenges in real-time, thereby improving overall disaster preparedness and response capabilities.

“These drones are not for coverage of weddings, funerals and outdooring ceremonies, they are expensive equipment that we are buying, so we should optimise its use and not just use it anyhow that will waste public resources,” he added.

The Project Coordinator was speaking at the signing of the Inter-jurisdictional Coordination Management Committee participation and the handing-over of the multi-purpose DJI Matrice 30 RTK Drones to beneficiary Assemblies under the GARID Project held in Accra.

The Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD) handed over 19 Drones to representatives of the 17 beneficiary Assemblies under the Project, the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), and the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority (LUSPA).

The Project Coordinator said it was expected of the MMAs, RCC and LUSPA to monitor the buffers of the water bodies against encroachment, the surveillance of solid waste hotspots, and generally strengthen development control.

Dr Sarfo urged Assemblies to take good care of them to be able to extend beyond its designed life and to strengthen human settlement planning and management systems.
Mr. Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, Minister for MLGDRD, who was represented by Mr. Osei Bonsu Amoah, Minister of State, said prior to the distribution of the drones, 37 officials from the beneficiary Assemblies, RCC and LUSPA received comprehensive training.

He said the training was conducted in collaboration with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and that, as a result, officials were well-equipped to utilise these drones efficiently and effectively.

The Minister said the project had been progressively addressing the flooding and solid waste management challenges in the Odaw Basin including the provision of services and infrastructure in priority prone informal settlements within the basin.

He said under component 3.3 of the project, the Ministry was implementing measures aimed at improving metropolitan planning and coordination, particularly in the operations and maintenance of drainage infrastructure in the Odaw River basin.

“The distribution of the drones is part of the holistic strategy the Ministry is implementing under the GARID Project,” he added.

The Minister said the Ministry had been providing financial support to the Assemblies to improve their flood risk and solid waste management initiatives.

He said since 2022, they had disbursed annual grants totalling $1.95 million to the 17 MMAs under the GARID Project to support operations and maintenance of secondary and tertiary drains in the flood hotspots.

“These grants have been instrumental in the desilting and dredging of these secondary and tertiary drains. The 2024 tranche of this grant was distributed to the beneficiary Assemblies in March of this year,” he added.

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