In July 2017, the Government of Malawi and UNICEF launched an air corridor to test potential humanitarian use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones. The corridor is the first in Africa and one of the first globally with a focus on humanitarian and developmental use.
It is centered on Kasungu Aerodrome, in central Malawi, with a 40km radius (80km diameter) and is designed to provide a controlled platform for the private sector, universities and other partners to explore how UAVs can be used to help deliver services that will benefit communities.
The Humanitarian UAVs Testing Corridor will facilitate testing in three main areas: first, imagery — generating and analysing aerial images for development and during humanitarian crises, including for situation monitoring in floods and earthquakes; second, connectivity — exploring the possibility for UAVs to extend Wi-Fi or cell phone signals across difficult terrain, particularly in emergencies, third, transport — delivery of small low weight supplies such as emergency medical supplies, vaccines and samples for laboratory diagnosis, including for HIV testing.
By Joseph Semuju
Community Manager - AMO
African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, MICHELIN