- Ethel Mwafulirwa
Drone Tech Training: opening minds to new possibilities
My name is Ethel Mwafulirwa. I recently finished my bachelor's degree in Forestry in June 2021 at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources' Bunda College of Agriculture. Whilst in college, I learnt about GIS and mapping, and this helped me see things differently. I later developed a keen interest in Geo technology and joined my university's YouthMappers chapter, LUANAR YouthMappers, to further expand my knowledge and usage of geo tools.
On July 18-19th, 2021 YouthMappers in Malawi, under an activity organized under the Everywhere She Maps program, participated in a drone technology training where I had the privileged to participate. All I can say is I have learnt a lot from this training. From the hardware and software part of the drone to creating a mission where we gained hands-on experience in flying DJI phantom and s500s drones. We were also able to appreciate the different types of drones such as the fixed wing, which was made from locally sourced material.
After mapping using the DJI pilot app, we were able to capture images of an area and taught on how to create an orthomosaic out of the images we collected. Another interesting session held during the training was the mapathon. Despite the time constraints, I feel like this training has provided me a stepping stone I needed. I know that I haven’t become a drone expert but I trust that I can build from the knowledge that I have gained. As a young lady, this is a big milestone for me and I am looking forward to playing a very big role in GIS world. As the journey continues, my brain is open to exploring and accommodating more knowledge in GIS.