Drone For Development By Lawrence Nachipo
There are so many challenges in Malawi in different sectors, for example Agriculture, that needs to be solved by us engineers and scientists. Malawi’s population is expected to grow to 26 million in 2030 yet the land size is still going to be the same and there are other challenges like climate change, scarcity of water and environmental degradation.” Kondwani Mwale said.
The CO= founder who is also working as operations manager of Nkhwazi Aeros Kondwani Mwale said that Nkhwazi is a leading Drone service company that provides integrated sustainable solutions in Agriculture mapping,Roof, and power lines inspection. Nkhwazi Aeros was founded on the 20th March 2020 with the overall idea of bringing innovative technological solutions and market needs by UAVs (Drone) related technical aspects. Our venture into this industry is solving these challenges by incorporating precise Agriculture to help maximize the resources we currently have. We can obtain 3D maps of existing soil, hence the potential of monitoring soil quality and nutrient management this help farmers to make land management decisions before planting their crops during the crop development stage on th farm, Nkhwazi Aeros implements Drone technology to collect data that is eventually used to get a more accurate map of any existing issues and create solutions based on reliable data Mwale explained.
Mwale further explained that fertilizer spraying used to be done manually in Malawi before Nkhwazi Aeros introduced fertiliser and pesticide using drones which is cheaper, safer and more effective. He continued said that their innovations help farmers have higher yields. Nkhwazi drones are also equipped with thermal cameras that help to spot irrigation issues or areas that receive little or excessive moisture. Nkhwazi is also using climate smart technologies like NDVI mapping software that is used to analyse remote sensing measurements to assess whether the target being observed contains live green vegetation or not. We choose to deal with drones because drones are Artificial Intelligence (AI) or machine that will help solve challenges faced by Malawians. As we already know that Malawi’s economy is heavily impacted by climate change, floods, lack of science and technology, and Malaria. We hope to bridge innovation technological solutions and market needs. Mwale said
He also said that the other reason why Nkhwazi deals with drones is that his team comes from automation, robotics, electronics and engineering backgrounds. So therefore they want to use their experience and technical knowledge and see how they can help shape Drone technology in Malawi. Drones are built with different functions and specifications to help provide solution to so many areas they’re cheaper and affordable tool that has helped us tackle climate change, drones have been used to save lives by delivering blood samples and vaccines to remote locations in Malawi. Drones have also helped farmers yield more crops through the application of precision Agriculture. Preparation for floods has been one use for drones whereby companies like Nkhwazi Aeros can generate Digital Terrain Model (DTM) that is use for environmental analysis” Mwale emphasized. As we are all living in the modern world it is indeed true that Drone technology is a kind of technology a lot of Malawians are not aware of. And as Nkhwazi Aeros an opportunity was taken to share the technology with all stakeholders in Malawi. People are taken embrace Drone technology through interviews and also the use of digital marketing, creative marketing blogs, technology conference, and social media to help share the knowledge across Malawi. I would like to say it is not easy to run a business especially a service business in Malawi. As you know our company was started during the COVID 19 epidemic so at times it has been difficult. However we have had the privilege of working with huge companies, Non Government Organisations, and farmers, we have carried out roof inspections at Japan Tobacco International (JTI) the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Malawi University Of Business and Applied Sciences. We have executed mapping tasks with Globhe. We have also helped with crop inspection and environmental assessments in Thyolo Zomba, Blanttyre, Mangochi, Chickwawa Mchinji and Rumphi, Kondwani Mwale highlighted. Commenting on the development Nkhwazi Aeros that they have not recieved any assistance from the government. However they’re just hoping the Malawi government can empower Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) like Nkhwazi Aeros so that they can keep growing. And also said for now they are operating in Malawi although we hope to operate throughout the whole of Africa in the future. It is not easy for young college graduates to run successful companies in. Hence, we take take this opportunity to thank everyone else who help us financially, training, assisted us through advisory and lastly all stakeholders who gave us chance to work with them. We look forward to working with more stakeholders in the future. Mwale made his last remarks.