MAPUTO, Mozambique’s National Emergency Operational Centre (CENOE) has obtained new equipment from the United Nations Development Prtogramme (UNDP) to help it monitor and respond to damage caused by natural disasters.

The UNDP delivered the equipment here Tuesday to improve the capacity of CENOE to collect images from affected areas, assess the severity of the situation, and to determine with greater accuracy the type of humanitarian response required.

The equipment, worth a total of 70,000 US dollars, included two drones with video cameras, two waterproof and shockproof GoPro cameras, 16 computers, a printer, scanner and fax machine, three portable printers, three projectors, and three still cameras.

CENOE Director Mauricio Xerinda said the drones would improve the collection of images in areas affected by extreme events, permitting the realistic evaluation of the extent of the destruction. “With this equipment, we will be able to monitor the situation and collect images without being on the ground,” he added.

The drones can reach an altitude of 600 metres and cover a distance of seven kilometres from the remote controller. They can fly for up to 28 minutes before requiring a battery recharge.

UNDP’s acting director in Mozambique, Steven Ursino, said the CENOE was a very important actor in the process of disaster risk management and the adaptation to climatic change as it is responsible for the collection, analysis, and management of information relating to advance warnings and responses to emergencies. He added that information management is an area under continual evolution, requiring constant investment in technical and human resources.

Ursino pledged that the UNDP would continue to support the government through the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), the National Meteorology Institute (INAM), and other institutions to ensure that the necessary measures are in place so that future disasters will have a minimum impact on communities.