The Lands Commission has taken delivery of two mapping drones to support efforts to improve land mapping and surveying in the country.
Valued at about US$20,000, the device comes with its accessories, including dual frequency GPS receivers, training drones and parts, complete tool box to repair drones, mobile workstation (high specs laptop), processing software and four terabyte external hard drives.
They were donated by Micro Aerial Projects LLC, a mapping drone manufacturing company, with support from Omidyar Network, a non-governmental organisation focused on improving land rights and registration in developing countries.
Presenting the items yesterday, Walter Volkmann, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Micro Aerial Projects, said the donation was to help build capacity of Ghanaians in the assembly and operation of drones, and create a test field to check and certify the use of the equipment for mapping.
Additionally, he said it would help to assess the possibility of using drones for cadastral surveying as well as assess the attainable accuracies in the use of mapping drones.
Already, some representatives from the Lands Commission and other mapping and surveying organisations, he said, have been trained on the assembly, calibration and operation of training drones which involved manual and pre-planned automated flights.
According to Mr Volkmann, the trainees were also taken through the methods of performing quality control of projects outputs such as orthophoto maps and Digital Elevation Models (DEMs).
The CEO said the donation was in line with government’s agenda to build the capacity of Ghanaians in the various sectors to wean itself off the over-dependence on aid.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, said the mapping drones would help in capturing data for the purposes of property rate, building evaluation, taxes, among others, which would help government in expanding its revenue streams.
It would further help in developing accurate district and regional boundaries to avoid conflicts between local authorities and support efforts to improve land administration and management in the country.
Alhaji Suleman Mahama, Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, expressed gratitude to the company for the donation and said the drones would help the outfit to produce spatial data to be able to meet government’s agenda of land title registration within 30 days.
He said that currently, the lack of adequate maps and the restrictive capacity of land owners to produce land ownership documents was the reason for delays in land title registrations, stating that the mapping drones would help the commission to effectively map boundaries of lands and capture relevant data that would facilitate the registration of lands.
By Claude Nyarko Adams