Environmental crimes, considered the fourth largest crime in the world, are illegal acts that directly harm the environment.
The drones will investigate environmentally degrading activities including land degradation, water pollution, and illegal logging, especially in protected areas.
These protected areas include Nyabarongo river, a buffer zone that still grapples with rampant pollution.
Soil erosion is a major cause of pollution. However, last year, authorities found nine mining companies, five mining clay and four mining guilty of polluting the351 kilometer river.
The launch of these drones is set to continue improving the sanitation of the East-African country.
Kigali, the capital of Rwanda has been voted the cleanest city in the continent. This was following the successful ban of plastic non-biodegradable bags, which helped in the reduction of waste in the hilly country.
The use of drones is a testament to the innovation and tech-savviness of the Rwandese people.
In a statement by the Minister for Environment Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, “The drones will help to respond to and control activities that damage our environment including land degradation, water pollution, and illegal logging in protected areas.”
Rwanda drone partnership
The minister lauded the partnership between the Rwanda National Police and Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) saying that her ministry and the RIB needed to learn from them as their relationship evolves.
Rwanda envisions to be a carbon-neutral country by the year 2050.
The carbon neutral agenda simply means that the amount of carbon emissions put out will be like the carbon emissions cleaned up thereafter, leaving no carbon footprint.
In addition, the drones will investigate environmentally degrading activities including land degradation, water pollution, and illegal logging, especially in protected areas.
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Maxwell Gomera, UNDP Resident Representative stated that, “These aren’t just flying cameras; they’re guardians in the sky, protecting our land and people from the risks of illegal activities.”
Other instances where drones have been used in Africa
This is not the first initiative by Rwanda to use drones in easing services. In 2016, Rwanda in partnership with tech company, Zipline started delivering blood and medical supplies to patients in need using drones.
The blood, contained within an IV bag, would parachute down in an insulated cardboard box, and the drone would zip back in this form of transportation that was significantly more efficient and faster than road transportation.
Other African countries that use drones to improve their services include Morocco, in combating illegal fishing, and Sudan where drones drop Acacia tree seeds from the sky to tackle desertification.