GAF Receives Drones to Strengthen Border Surveillance
The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) has been donated with drones on Wednesday meant to ease border surveillance between The Gambia and neighboring countries in efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The ECOWAS expert on higher education, Professor Alif Amin Hussein made the donation at the Defense headquarters in Banjul. Food items were also included in the package.
It’s believed that the equipment will enhance communication amongst security establishments in creating a rapid response surveillance.
The donor, Prof. Alif Amin Hussein said his main objective is to develop distance learning through enhancing technology within the ECOWAS Sub Region and promote tourism security in Gambia.
“We want to make geography of the borders with drones; cameras and the internet to make sure borders are safe and secure because the Gambia is a tourism destination. Everyday your armed forces are ready to pay the duty at the borders.”
Brigadier General and Deputy Chief of Defense Staff of GAF Mamat O. Cham, hailed the donor, says it will leverage the technology to ease greater surveillance on the porous borders.
“One of the problems in Africa, more so in our sub region, has been our porous borders. The fact that people are moving poses some serious security threats to our various countries. If there is any way in which we can leverage on technology through capacity building for our men and then using modern technology to be able to secure our borders, that would go a long way in ensuring that our capacity to develop and deliver on our constitutional mandate would be enhanced,” Cham stated.
On the sideline, Major Lamin K. Sanyang, the spokesperson of the Gambia Armed Forces tells The Chronicle how the machine will ease their operations.
“The drones are very significant. It’s something that’s used all over the world either by the military or police to help them in their patrols and also in surveillance and also being able to track activities in and around the country,” he said.
“For the military, we are usually engaging around the border and also on patrol. These patrols cost a lot of money in terms of mobility. You need vehicles, you need the fuel, you need even men able to do that.
“So, if you get a drone, it will save you a lot on the amount of fuel, the number of vehicles, the number of personnel that you dedicate to do any patrol at any given time” PRO Sanynag tells The Chronicle.
He noted that with a control center and a command center, they would be able to patrol with a drone to kilometers far away and be able to see any activity around the borders, legal or non legal activities or anything that is going on around the borders and help them be able to react on time.
“A classical example was that border incident around Garawol, in Kantora were the Senegalese gendarmerie came into The Gambia and arrested somebody and went to Senegal and so many other illegal activities like cattle wrestling around the borders. This kind of activities with a drone you would be able to identify where the problem is”
He disclosed the GAF’s plans to develop a hot line communication mechanism to be able to get quick alerts on threats in the local communities.
“We are looking into how to get to the hot line so that communities wherever they are in Gambia would be able to alert us in case they have any security threats around their area.
“So, when you have a drone like this and somebody calls you, you would be able to get it in the air as quickly as possible and be able to track and come to the person’s rescue. And if there is any need for any reinforcement be it like a physical kind of contact with the enemy or the criminals or this cattle dealers, speedy action will be taken by the arm forces”