Govt au­tho­rizes drones in war against poach­ers

The African - - TOURISM - BY STAFF RE­PORTER

The Govern­ment, through the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Tourism has ap­proved the use of drones in Tarangire Na­tional Park in a hi-tech bat­tle against poach­ers.

Cov­er­ing an area of 2,600 square kilo­me­ters, Tarangire Na­tional Park in north­ern Tan­za­nia, is best known for its large herds of ele­phants that can be seen in groups of sev­eral hun­dred in­di­vid­u­als along the main river val­ley dur­ing the early wet sea­son.

An ini­tial six-month de­ploy­ment of Su­per Bat DA 50 and the re­quired ground and mon­i­tor­ing equip­ment at the sixth largest na­tional park in Tan­za­nia, is ex­pected to pro­vide real time in­for­ma­tion about poach­ing raids.

The move fol­lows an ex­ten­sive trial taken place late last year over Mko­mazi Na­tional Park near the bor­der with Kenya and the re­sults were over­whelm­ing, ap­par­ently en­cour­ag­ing the Min­istry to ex­pand the scope of the project.

In an ex­change of let­ters with the Tan­za­nia Pri­vate Sec­tor Foun­da­tion (TPSF), the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Tourism has sanc­tioned a drone in an an­tipoach­ing op­er­a­tion in Tarangire, to start with.

“I would like to in­form you that the min­istry has au­tho­rised the proof of con­cept to go ahead,” reads a let­ter to TPSF signed for min­istry’s per­ma­nent sec­re­tary by one Ker­aryo H.W dated April 21, 2016.

This op­er­a­tion will be car­ried out by Bathawk Re­con, a Tan­za­nian start-up in­tend­ing to de­velop and de­ploy this tech­nol­ogy in coun­tries af­fected by poach­ing.

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