Africa Surveyors November-December 2022 digital issue

Africa Surveyors is Africa’s premier source of Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial news and an envoy of surveying products/service for the Construction, Maritime, Onshore & Offshore energy and exploration, Engineering, Oil and Gas, Agricultural and Mining sectors on new solution based trends and technology for the African market.

Africa Surveyors is Africa’s premier source of Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial news and an envoy of surveying products/service for the Construction, Maritime, Onshore & Offshore energy and exploration, Engineering, Oil and Gas, Agricultural and Mining sectors on new solution based trends and technology for the African market.


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November-December issue 2022 Volume 4 issue no. 24

Africa Surveyors

Wastewater Treatment

Challenges and possible solutions for wastewater treatment in Africa

Natural Resource Extraction

Exploiting Green Energy in Africa

Sustainable Offshore Operations

In this issue......

How engineers can design

the next 100 years with

digital twins....pg 24

Meeting the need for skills and

labour to solve South Africa’s

intensifying energy crisis....pg 14

Geospatial technologies

prove an essential driver of

development in Africa....pg 36


November-December issue l 2022 1

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2 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com



Current Issue

In this issue we look at

Wastewater Treatment

in Africa, challenges and

possible solutions and many

more....enjoy the issue!


16 24

News Briefs 4

Events 8

Innovation 10

Opinion 14

Project review 36


Augustine M. Rang'ondi

Managing Editor

Monica R. Kemunto

Senior Editor &

Marketing Lead

Dorcas Kang’ereha


Violet Ambale

Harriet Mkhaye

Irene Joseph

Innocent Momanyi

Sales Executives

East Africa

Jimmy Mudasia

Lydia Kamonya

Caiser Momanyi

Vincent Murono

Sheila Ing’ayitsa


Wastewater Treatment in Africa: Challenges and

possible solutions


Engineering: Seeking smooth mobility of Nigerian


Digital Twins: How engineers can design the next 100

years with digital twins

Energy: Exploiting Green Energy in Africa

Offshore: Sustainable Offshore operations

Architecture: OMT Architects




South Africa

Paul Nyakeri

Sean Masangwanyi

Lisa Brown

Thembisa Ndlovu


Emelda Njomboro

Uche Maxwel

Designed and

Published by:

P.O. Box 52248-00100,

Nairobi, Kenya.

Project Review: BURJ ZANZIBAR



Diversified Communication.................................................IBC

Position Partners....................................................................OBC

Diversified Communication................................................pg 8

IGI Systems.............................................................................pg 28

Applanix...................................................................................pg 31

Endeavor Media.....................................................................pg 25

Saab..........................................................................................pg 35

MacArtney...............................................................................pg 38


Contact us

Tel: 0774288100

Emaii: info@africasurveyorsonline.com

Web: https://africasurveyorsonline.com

The Editor accepts letter and manuscripts for publication from readers all over the world. Include your name and address as a sign of good faith although you may

request your name to be withheld from publication. We can reserve the right to edit any material submitted. Send your letters to: info@africasurveyorsonline.com


Nailex Africa Publishing makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the contents of its publications, but no warranty is made to such accuracy and

no responsibility will be borne by the publisher for the consequences of actions based on information so published. Further, opinions expressed on

interviews are not necessarily shared by Nailex Africa Publisher.


November-December issue l 2022 3


PGS and EGAS complete extensive data

acquisition and imaging campaign in Egypt

PGS, in collaboration with EGAS,

has completed an extensive 3D

GeoStreamer data acquisition

and imaging campaign in Egypt’s west

Mediterranean Sea

They have captured post-stack depthmerge,

over 24,000 sq km of data, raw and

final KPSDM full-stack volumes in time and

depth, migration velocity model in depth, and

processing report. These data have now been

merged into a single full stack depth seismic

volume (KPSDM), including two pre-existing

reprocessed overlapping MC3D surveys

(legacy 3D data).

The wider area was mapped using 2D

seismic data in 2016 and 2018, providing an

extensive overview of the regional geology

and structure. The new West Egypt 3D

Merge allows explorers to gain a far more

detailed overview of the plays and structures

available. This includes the shelf area,

which is an extension of the proven onshore

western desert play fairways and is likely

to rank highly as a focus area for upcoming

exploration activity.

"This merged MC3D volume is an ideal

screening product for companies looking to

rapidly evaluate the subsurface potential

of this frontier area, prior to committing to

pre-stack seismic products or entering the

area. The PSDM volume is now available for

licensing," said Mark Hamilton, PGS principal

geoscientist for Africa, Mediterranean and

Middle East.

Reach Subsea to install offshore unit in West Africa

Sercel selected to supply

508XT acquisition

equipment for seismic

survey in North Africa

Acquisition equipment for seismic survey

|Image Sercel

Sercel has announced the sale of its

80,000-channel 508XT acquisition

system and 24 Nomad 65 Neo

broadband vibrators for deployment on a 3D

mega-crew seismic survey in North Africa in

late 2023.

This new equipment will join an existing

installed base of two 508XT systems,

representing a total 180,000 channels, and

a fleet of 30 Nomad 90 Neo vibrators that

were delivered in 2021 to equip two other

major projects in the same area.

Reach Subsea, a provider for oceanbased

industries, has signed a

conditional letter of offer and

acceptance (LOA) for a significant project

in West Africa (WAF), through which the

company will be a sub-contractor to a major

tier-one contractor

The assignment encompass support for

installation and anchoring of an offshore

unit, which implies a valuable broadening

of Reach Subsea’s spectrum of services.

Included in the scope are significant survey

and positioning tasks to be undertaken by

Reach Subsea subsidiary iSurvey. The project

will be initiated towards late Q1 2023, and

is expected to last well into Q2 2023.

'We experience a solid market for subsea

Included in the scope

are significant survey

and positioning tasks

to be undertaken by

Reach Subsea subsidiary

iSurvey. (Image Source:

Adobe Stock)

services. This significant contract improves

our order backlog considerably and is

evidence of the strong value proposition

of our complete and integrated offering -

including survey and positioning services

delivered by our new colleagues in iSurvey.

It confirms our ability to successfully

compete for a broad range of complex

assignments across the globe,' said CEO of

Reach Subsea Jostein Alendal.

Reach Subsea will charter a hybrid-powered

AHC/offshore construction vessel, mobilised

with a work class remotely operated

vehicles (ROV) for the project. The project

has been awarded based on a strategic

cooperation with key stakeholders for

delivering high quality engineering and

vessel solutions to the floater installation


The Nomad 65 Neo all-terrain vibrator,

selected for its ability to operate efficiently

in harsh conditions, will be used with

Sercel’s Smart LF software to reduce

vibrator-induced low[1]frequency distortion

and record a high-quality dataset over the

widest frequency range. Sercel’s Vibrator

Auto-Guidance solution will also be used to

significantly increase vibroseis productivity.

When combined with the reliable and easyto-deploy

508XT acquisition system, this set

of equipment will ensure large-scale and

error-free operations.

“We are very proud to have been selected

to equip a major onshore survey in North

Africa for the third time in under two

years,” Emmanuelle Dubu, Sercel CEO, said.

“It demonstrates once again that Sercel’s

field-proven technology is an obvious

choice for mega-crew configurations. With

the combined performance of our 508XT,

Nomad 65 Neo, Smart LF and Vibrator Auto-

Guidance solutions, our client will be well

placed to overcome the challenges of desert

operations while maintaining the highest

productivity, reliability and safety levels.”

4 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com

Angola and Sierra Leone sign

agreement on oil and gas


Angola’s National Agency for Oil,

Gas and Biofuels (ANPG) and Sierra

Leone’s Petroleum Directorate signed

a cooperation agreement at the Angola Oil &

Gas (AOG) 2022 Conference & Exhibition in

Luanda, with a view to establishing a shared

commitment to promoting and intensifying

collaboration across the oil and gas sector

The MoU was signed by Paulino Jerónimo,

president of the ANPG, and Foday Mansaray,

director general of Sierra Leone’s Petroleum


The memorandum of understanding (MoU)

serves to outline opportunities for bilateral

trade and investment; position oil and

gas cooperation as mutually beneficial

economically, technologically, socially and

environmentally for both countries, and

reaffirm stronger economic, cultural and

social ties between Angola and Sierra Leone.

As the largest oil producer on the African

continent, Angola has been on a path of

fostering pan-African energy diplomacy,

executing diplomatic visits to and signing a

series of cooperation agreements with new

and existing hydrocarbon producers across

the region. These agreements have targeted

policy alignment, knowledge sharing and

enhanced trade and investment across

energy and non-energy sectors like.

“The MoU signals new opportunities for

bilateral cooperation across the trade,

energy and economic sectors between

Angola and Sierra Leone. We are proud to

collaborate with the Petroleum Directorate

and are excited for what lies ahead for

both nations. With this agreement, we can

enhance the very industries that will drive

Africa into a new era of economic progress,”

stated Jerónimo.

Sierra Leone, for its part, is seeking to

advance in its nascent oil and gas sector,

having launched a licensing round last

May, offering over 63,000 sq km of highly

prospective acreage. The West African

country is home to a working petroleum

system that was supported by small-scale oil

and gas discoveries, before exploration was

put on pause around 2015-2016.

Eni has signed a contract with Wison

Heavy Industry for the construction

and installation of a Floating Liquefied

Natural Gas (FLNG) unit with a capacity of 2.4

MTPA (million tons per annum). The FLNG will

be deployed offshore the Republic of Congo.

The 380m long and 60m wide vessel will be

anchored at a water depth of around 40m and

will be able to store over 180,000m3 of LNG

and 45,000m3 of LPG. Preliminary activities

have already started, with long lead items

ordered and steel cuts of cryogenic tanks

occurring on Dec. 20.

This facility will be the second FLNG to be

deployed in the Republic of Congo, the first

one being Tango FLNG (0.6 MTPA capacity),


Eni to increase LNG production with second FLNG project

offshore Republic of Congo

Kenya targets 30GW of green hydrogen after signing

strategic deal with UK

Kenya targets 30GW of green hydrogen after signing

strategic deal with UK |Image courtesy

Kenya’s President said it aims to

produce 30GW of green hydrogen

production after signing a KES500bn

deal with the UK to fast track green


The UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership is an

ambitious five-year agreement that aims to

unlock benefits for both countries.

The UK Government will commit KES2bn to

a new guarantee company that will lower

investment risk and unlock KES12bn of

climate finance for Kenyan projects over

the next 3 years, through collaboration with

CPF Financial Services and other private


The Malindi Solar Expansion will receive

Coral-Sul FLNG, the first floating LNG

facility ever to be deployed in the deep waters

of the African continent. Photo Credit: Eni

with LNG production expected to begin in

2023. With the second FLNG, the overall LNG

production capacity on Marine XII will reach

over 4.5 billion cubic meters per year in 2025.

Both initiatives are part of Marine XII gas

valorization plan, in line with Eni’s strategy to

leverage gas equity.

an additional KES7.5bn

investment. Plans at the 40MW

solar plant, constructed by UK

company Globeleq with finance

from British International

Investment, which was

connected to the grid in

December 2021, will double

the size of Malindi Solar and

add battery storage.

Other investments include

KES425bn in Grand High Falls Dam –

which will generate 1,000MW of hydroelectric

capacity – KES12.5bn in Menengai

Geothermal and KES31bn in United Green

crop and agro-industrial processing system.

President HE William Ruto, addressing

delegates at COP27, said Kenya’s electricity

green is 93% green and outlined the

potential of green hydrogen, before making

the 30GW target.

“There exists in Kenya the opportunity to

produce 20GW of wind power, 10GW of

geothermal electricity, and being at the

equator, considerable amounts of solar

power. In East Africa there is sufficient

hydro-electric potential to produce

100,000MW and if properly exploited,

could generate enough clean energy for the

whole of the continent.”


November-December issue l 2022 5


xyzt.ai and Xouba

partner to bring time to

mobility analytics down

from weeks to minutes

Xyzt.ai, a Leuven-based high-tech

company offering an innovative visual

analytics SaaS (Software as a Service)

platform for big location data, has announced

its partnership with Xouba, an innovative

Spanish road safety and mobility analytics


Xouba, with offices in Europe and the US, is

on a mission to bring traffic accidents down

to zero. It is using floating vehicle data to

help government agencies to gain insight into

the main road safety issues.

Floating vehicle data is the collection of data

records obtained from connected vehicles.

It includes millions or even billions of GPS

coordinates with speeds, of vehicles driving

on our roads. It is a powerful data source for

analysis, as it enables answering many traffic

and road safety questions, not possible with

data that is already aggregated at the street

segment level.

However, few tools exist that can cope

with the large amounts of data records,

leaving traffic analysts to resort to custom

data science workflows. This ad-hoc way of

working often takes so much time and effort

that floating vehicle data remains unused.

For this, Xouba has selected the xyzt.ai

platform and by doing so has moved from

a time-consuming data science workflow to

an efficient no-code/low-code data analysis

workflow. As a result, Xouba has reduced time

to insight from weeks to minutes. It uses the

xyzt.ai platform not only for analysis tasks,

but also for creating insightful reports to

share with their stakeholders.

Lida Joly, CEO at xyzt.ai, comments, “There

are multiple hundreds of millions connected

vehicles driving on our roads and the amount

is only increasing. Connected vehicles

generate billions of data points on how

drivers behave and how the roads are used.

This data can provide a tremendous number

of insights on road safety and traffic efficiency.

However, connected vehicle data is not easy

to work with, due to the spatial, temporal, and

data size challenges.

Visual Intelligence and Gremsy Partner to Scale

Engineering Class Drone Data Collection

Visual Intelligence, the leader in

delivering an emerging new category

of Engineering Class 3d drone

data to asset managers, has announced

a partnership with Gremsy, a leading

manufacturer of camera gimbal stabilizers

for drones, to produce a multiple-axis gimbal

capable of carrying a multiple-camera

array tailored for vertical data capture. This

partnership will enable customers to quickly

purchase engineering-grade sensors and

deploy fleets of drones to collect data in

volume, across hundreds or thousands of


Visual Intelligence and Gremsy have

collaborated to develop a customized twoaxis

version of the T3 gimbal compatible

with Visual Intelligence patented MACS-

3D array technology. Built upon the T3

series, this version inherits its predecessor's

advanced features and great compatibility

with multiple drone platforms, making it a

perfect choice to go with MACS-3D for data

capture missions. The two-axis T3 system

also offers superior performance and optimal

weight for MACS-3D system, delivering

a complete payload solution ready to fly

with various drones, like the popular M300.

Esri is the global market leader in

geographic information system (GIS)

software, location intelligence, and

mapping. This new specialty designation,

which was announced on August 16,

2022, is only open to Esri Partner Network

organizations that want to provide expertise

in deploying and managing ArcGIS Enterprise

in Kubernetes environments.

This Kubernetes specialty designation is for

partners in the Esri Partner network who

have expertise in deploying, configuring,

and maintaining an ArcGIS Enterprise

on Kubernetes as well as expertise in

Kubernetes' best practices. This latest Esri

specialty acknowledges ROK as subject

Image credit: Gremsy

Gremsy also worked closely with Visual

Intelligence to refine the Gremsy SDK to more

closely integrate with Visual Intelligence’s

suite of software tools. Other recent

enhancements include quick-release for rapid

field setup, interchangeable two and threeaxis

gimbal versions, great compatibility with

multiple aircraft flight controllers and built-in

advanced functions for industrial uses.

“Gremsy’s ability to remain agile and move

quickly has enabled us to rapidly develop our

unique sensor technology,” said Ted Miller,

Founder and Chairman of Visual Intelligence.

“This partnership exponentially increases

our manufacturing capabilities and improves

international distribution, enabling more

industries to adopt Engineering Class drone

data into their workflows.

ROK Technologies is First Partner in the Esri

Partner Network to Earn the ArcGIS Enterprise on

Kubernetes Specialty Designation

ROK Technologies is First Partner in the

Esri Partner Network to Earn the ArcGIS

Enterprise on Kubernetes Specialty

Designation | Image ROK Technologies

matter experts in this key area of growth -

Kubernetes environments.

Since ROK Technologies was founded,

they have focused on empowering GIS

organizations with Cloud-first technologies so

they can deliver exceptional GIS experiences

to their customers.

6 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Hexagon, OSASI partner for disaster management and prediction solutions

Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure &

Geospatial division and OSASI Technos

Inc. announced a partnership to deliver

next-generation disaster management and

monitoring solutions. The wide area remote

monitoring systems with 3D visualization

capabilities will allow governments to

detect, predict and simulate impending

disasters, enabling them to better plan for

and respond to emergency events. The news

was announced today at a signing ceremony

during the Belgian Economic Mission to Japan.

The partnership brings together OSASI’s

advanced on-site sensors and monitoring

solutions with the real-time situational

awareness and location intelligence

capabilities of Hexagon’s Luciad Portfolio.

Combining on-site information, such as

rainfall measurements and river water levels,

with maps, 3D data and other information

Image: Hexagon

from third-party sources will provide

advanced visualization and real-time analysis

to unlock insights for predicting and detecting

landslides, mudflows, slope failures and other

disasters faster.

“At Hexagon, our goal is to enable safer,

smarter cities by providing governments

and other organizations the tools they need

to protect residents and visitors,” said Dirk

Wagemans, senior vice president, commercial

business, Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure

& Geospatial division. “By partnering

with OSASI to deliver next-generation

disaster management and monitoring

solutions, governments have greater access

to information and insights that could

mitigate impacts of disasters and save lives.”

“OSASI has been developing measurement

instruments for the field and providing

monitoring solutions for observation points

through its information sharing services,” said

Maki Yano, president of OSASI Technos Inc.

iNESS Data Twins of Commercial Spaces Powered by Bentley iTwin

iNESS 360 announced the addition of Data

Twins of Commercial Spaces to Bentley

Systems’ Powered by iTwin program.

Data Twins of Commercial Spaces enables

owners and operators to better manage the

use of commercial spaces by integrating

human behavior modeling with a building’s


INESS converts commercial spaces into data

streaming sources to model human behavior

and how indoor circumstances affect that

behavior by integrating the INESS system

into the structure of the building. The system

developed predictive models on usage

trends and indoor circumstances to optimize

space, energy usage, and operations without

needing to invest in expensive BMS systems

By using the Bentley iTwin platform INESS

will integrate the data and data models

directly to the building architectural model

and create a data twin of the day-cycle of the


“Imagine an internet where buildings are

connected and talking,” said CEO Soner Haci.


iNESS Data Twins of Commercial Spaces Powered by Bentley iTwin | Image courtesy

“In the future, anyone would be able to buy

data from commercial buildings. This data

is the evolution of how companies are able

to interact with modern commercial spaces.

INESS is proud to announce our adoption of

the Bentley iTwin platform to create the next

version of Data Twins for Commercial Spaces

that is not only smart, but also intelligent.”

“We are very pleased to have iNESS 360 add

their Data Twins of Commercial Spaces to

the Powered by iTwin program,” said Adam

Klatzkin, Vice President, iTwin Platform, at

Bentley Systems. “In doing so, iNESS 360

joins the growing ecosystem of software

developers enabling digital twin solutions

with the iTwin platform. Their Data Twins

of Commercial Spaces solution is a great

example of how digital twin technology can

model human behavior with streaming data

to optimize indoor space, energy usage, and


November-December issue l 2022 7

FEBRUARY 13-15,2023



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Architecture, Engineering

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8 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Subsea Technology Eastern

Mediterranean conference and Expo 2023

In partnership with the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company

(CHC), Offshore magazine introduces Subsea Technology

Eastern Mediterranean, a new conference and tabletop

exhibition dedicated to facilitating the transfer of

technology, best practices, and regional cross-border

collaboration for sustainable offshore energy development

in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Curated by top subject matter experts, the conference

program will focus on subsea tieback technology and new

concepts for sustainable development and operations,

attracting senior technology and business management from

the global offshore international operators, engineering

firms, contractors, technology suppliers, service companies,

and regulators.

Geo Week 2023

Geo Week is the intersection of geospatial + the built world.

The event brings together AEC Next Expo & Conference, SPAR

3D Expo & Conference and the International Lidar Mapping

Forum into a single powerhouse event. Co-located partner events

include USIBD, ASPRS, MAPPS Annual Meeting. Industries covered

include Architecture, Engineering & Construction; Asset & Facility

Management; Disaster & Emergency Response; Earth Observation

& Satellite Applications; Energy & Utilities, Infrastructure &

Transportation; Land & Natural Resource Management, Mining

& Aggregates, Surveying & Mapping, and Urban Planning/Smart

Cities. The combined conference program and tradeshow floor


will feature commercial applications of 3D technologies, innovations

and case studies in the built environment, advanced airborne and

terrestrial remote sensing solutions, smart products for a full project

team and much more! Professionals from a range of disciplines will

network and gain insight into the increasing confluence of their worlds,

providing even more opportunities to support the next generation of

digital technology. It is presented by Geo Week News and organized by

Diversified Communications, a global event producer that also organizes

Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Commercial UAV Expo Europe

(Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Digital Construction Week and GEO

Business Show (London, UK).

November-December issue l 2022 9


CHC Navigation

launches the

version 8 of its

Landstar Field

Data Collection


CHC Navigation (CHCNAV) has released

LandStar8, a Field Surveying and

Mapping application for Android

devices. LandStar8 is a versatile, modular

and customizable software for topographic

tasks such as surveying, stake out, cadastral,

mapping and GIS. Building on the legacy of

LandStar7, the new LandStar8 brings many

new features such as a refined user interface,

streamlined workflows, even faster operation

and integrated cloud services.

“With LandStar8, we want to provide our

users with unprecedented field experience

The LandStar 8 APP’s functions are in use. Image CHCNAV

like never before. LandStar8’s modular

design allows users to customize the

interface according to their usage habits,

making it easier and more efficient for field

crews to work.” said Rachel Wang, Product

Manager of CHC Navigation’s Surveying and

Engineering Division. "We also built more

cloud connectivity into the software. Whether

it is backup, data storage or remote technical

support, users can connect to their data

anytime, anywhere."

Simplified interface layout to make surveyor’s

life easier LandStar 8 has a simple and

intuitive layout with large map windows and

sharp graphics. Users can hide features they

rarely use and display only those they use

on a daily basis, making the interface more

straightforward and easier to use. LandStar8

is a flexible and user-friendly field software

for surveying and mapping tasks.

Presagis and

Airbus Partner to


5D Users

Direct Access

to OneAtlas

Satellite Imagery

Presagis, developer of the VELOCITY 5D

(V5D) digital twin production platform,

has partnered with Airbus Defence

and Space to give Presagis customers direct

access to the OneAtlas satellite image library

from inside the V5D workspace. V5D users

can obtain Airbus imagery to fill in geospatial

data gaps during digital twin generation

or for dynamic updating after it has been


Presagis and Airbus Partner to Provide VELOCITY 5D. Image Presagis

“Our content-on-demand partnership with

Airbus puts the entire world of high-quality

satellite imagery at the fingertips of V5D

users,” said Jean-Michel Briere, Presagis

President. “Direct OneAtlas access means our

customers can search and access imagery

from the geospatial industry’s most diverse

offering of satellite data, including the new

30cm Pléiades Neo imagery.”

Launched in November 2022 by Presagis,

V5D is a cloud-based platform that quickly

and automatically converts massive volumes

of geospatial data into high-fidelity 3D

digital twins. With no geospatial processing

expertise, V5D users can easily produce

accurate digital twins from multiple 2D data

sets, including GIS vector layers, remote

sensing imagery, and other structured and

unstructured data of any size, format, or type.

OneAtlas from Airbus is an online portal

that enables users to easily obtain the best

satellite image, or combination of imagery,

for their specific application, area of interest,

and budget. Providing access primarily to

the unrivaled Airbus constellation of optical

imaging satellites, OneAtlas is the gateway

for geospatial professionals to choose from

a wide selection of image data resolutions,

spectral bands, modes, swaths, and revisits.

10 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Emlid released the upgraded survey app for iOS and


Emlid has introduced new functionality

and a new name for its survey app.

Emlid Flow is the highly upgraded

ReachView 3 app featuring new professional

survey tools to ease your work both in the

field and the office.

The Emlid Flow functionality for fieldwork has

been enhanced with linework and coding. For

greater flexibility, Emlid has also launched

a cloud-based service Emlid Flow 360 that

allows managing survey data from the

desktop in the office.


With Emlid Flow, you can create the linework

on the go. Measure and move ahead with just

a few taps using predefined geometry types

or a full-blown code library. The linework

is displayed immediately to show how the

project is progressing. While staking a line

using Emlid Flow visual guides, you can easily

navigate to a line, and stake out a line with

an offset and with a chainage.

The Emlid Flow functionality for fieldwork has been enhanced with linework and coding I Image



Emlid Flow supports the coding of points

and lines during collection in the field. You

can upload a custom code library or use a

standard one built into Emlid Flow, which

has more than a hundred codes. No need

to type the description for each point and

line—just choose a code from a library at your

fingertips. Quickly switch between different

object codes, start or continue collecting the

lines, and create new codes right in a survey


Satellite map view

One more new feature brings several map

layers. Now you can switch between a

standard map and satellite imagery.

Point One Navigation Launches ASIL Positioning Engine to Enable Safe and

Precise Autonomous Vehicles

Point One Navigation, a leader in precise

positioning technology, has announced

its FusionEngine software, a complete,

high-performance ASIL-rated precise location

solution for Automotive applications is

now compatible with ST’s TeseoAPP (Teseo

ASIL Precise Positioning) GNSS Chipset. The

combined solution assures functional safety

at ASIL-B, a critical requirement for Level 3+

ADAS systems.

Point One’s FusionEngine is a trusted, tightly

coupled positioning solution built on the

Company’s proprietary self-calibrating sensorfusion

algorithms. Fusion Engine can be easily

integrated into a variety of host processors

that are used for enabling Level 3+ ADAS and

autonomous driving systems.

FusionEngine combines data from multiple

sensors, including ST’s TeseoAPP multi-band

GNSS receiver, to assure the high accuracy,

safety, and integrity required for higher levels

of autonomous vehicles.

The combination of ST’s TeseoAPP receiver

and the STA5365S external RF front-end

provides dual-band precise raw measurement

data for all visible GNSS satellites to the

main host processor, where Point One’s

FusionEngine is integrated. The TeseoAPP

receiver and chipset are compliant with ST’s

Automotive Grade qualification. This includes

AEC-Q100 and ISO 26262.

Point One’s FusionEngine enables developers

to complete the Functional Safety Concept

Phase for their host system software

integration. This includes the definition of

Safety Goals, Functional Safety Requirements

(FSR) and Technical Safety Requirements

(TSR) as well as the test methods to provide

evidence of successful integration. These test

methods are then fully executed and audited

to achieve the assigned ASIL rating.

"Building on the foundation of ST’s TeseoAPP,

we are enhancing safety in production

automotive applications,” said Aaron Nathan,

Point One’s FusionEngine paired with

STMicroelectronics TeseoAPP Chipset is

a competitively priced, production-ready

positioning solution for automotive OEMs

developing navigation and advanced driver

assistance systems (ADAS) | Image Point One

CEO at Point One Navigation. “We’ve

leveraged ST’s expertise in automotive-grade

qualification to bring to market a complete

solution that offers both high performance

and reliability. Our customers can now achieve

ASIL B safety for today’s most advanced

vehicle applications."


November-December issue l 2022 11


COREN Seeks Signatory to Washington Accord for

Smooth Mobility of Nigerian Engineers

The Council for the Regulation of

Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has

disclosed that it was pushing to

ensure that Nigerian engineers are able to ply

their trade in any part of the world which are

signatories to the Washington accord.

President and Chairman of Council of

COREN, Mr. Ali Rabiu, in a statement in Abuja,

explained that meetings were already being

held to allow Nigerians practice in signatory


The Washington Accord was first signed

in 1989 and recognises that professional

engineering education programmes

accredited by the signatories deliver

outcomes that are substantially equivalent to

the Washington Accord Graduate Attributes.

“For now, also being pursued vigorously

by COREN is the process of applying

for Provisional Signatory Status of the

Washington Accord (WA) under the

International Engineering Alliance (IEA)

seeking mobility for Nigerian engineers such

that they can practice in signatory countries.

“In the course of this, COREN team had

held series of meetings with Emeritus Prof.

Elizabeth Taylor, Washington Accord Executive

Committee Chair and her team and the

Engineering Council of South Africa, ECSA.

“Equally, COREN has been effectively put

on the engineering world map by ensuring

its adequate visibility and participation in

activities of World Federation of Engineering

Organisations (WFEO), such as the World

Engineering Summit of March, 2022 at Costa


“It also participated at the 30th Federation

of Engineering Institutions of Asia and the

Pacific (FEIAP) General Assembly, the 6th

FEIAP Convention of July, 2022, which held

in the Philippines and also the 8th Edition

of African Engineering Week/6th African

Engineering Conference in Ethiopia,” Rabiu


Additionally, COREN stated that in

championing mobility of Nigerian engineers

within the African region, it recently hosted

delegations from Sierra Leone Institution of

Engineers and Ghana Institution of Engineers.

In compliance with the provisions of the

Engineers, CAP E11 2004 Act as amended

and in line with its commitment to the

uplift of COREN as a formidable engineering

regulatory organisation in Nigeria, the council

stressed that it ensured the deployment of

more effective strategies for guaranteeing

best practice among the various professionals

in engineering through the review of


The body explained that this is critical

as Nigerian engineering programmes are

transiting from the traditional input based

to outcome-based education, with the aim of

raising the competency level of the Nigerian

engineering practitioners.

COREN noted that the successful

investigation and reprimanding as well

as prosecution of erring engineering

practitioners as it relates to collapse of

buildings and sundry offences associated

with the built industry in Nigeria were also

embarked upon in the outgoing year.

It highlighted the introduction of the

Continuing Professional Development

(CPD) points as part requirement for

the procurement of practice licence as

a quality control mechanism to ensure

that only competent practitioners are

issued with practice license, with effective

implementation date from January, 2023.

“This is in pursuance of the COREN amended

Act which has made practice licence

compulsory for all engineering practitioners

and firms.

“In order to ensure operational excellence

in engineering, some critical indigenous

engineering regulations, codes and standards

have been developed, some of which

have been recently gazetted to regulate

engineering practice in Nigeria,” it pointed


Rabiu stressed that the organisation has

also introduced the COREN Engineering

Practitioners’ Code of Conduct, Regulations

on Accreditation of Engineering Programmes

in Nigeria, Regulations on Structural

Engineering Practice in Nigeria as well as the

Regulations for Establishment of Engineering

Practitioners Examination Committee.

In addition, the COREN president said there

are now regulations for marine engineering,

naval architecture and marine surveying

practice in Nigeria.

He explained that work has commenced on

developing National Construction Safety

Standards for Nigeria in the area of building/

civil infrastructure, amongst others.

“The establishment of the Engineering

Practitioners’ Examination Committee for the

immediate implementation of a harmonised

professional registration scheme that will be

beneficial to all stakeholders in engineering.

“As a result of the incessant incidences of

collapse of structures, particularly buildings

in various parts of the country, posing

serious safety and economic challenges to

the populace, COREN called presidents and

registrars of some regulatory and professional

bodies in the built environment together to

a crucial meeting of the professionals in the

built environment to proffer sustainable and

efficient solutions to the ugly menace,” the

statement added.

It also listed the establishment of Engineering

Accreditation Committee to among other

terms of reference, implement COREN

accreditation policy and formulate guidelines

and procedures for accreditation and the

launch of new engineering programmes as

part of the council’s achievements.

“COREN is implementing the Engineering

Regulations Monitoring Programme by

establishing State Technical Committees and

State Expatriate Monitoring Committees in all

the States of the Federation. At present, 20

have been inaugurated. The most recent ones

were in Abeokuta, Ogun and Lagos States last

week respectively,” Rabiu stressed.

12 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Egypt launches new global

oil, gas exploration


Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral

Resources, Tarek El-Molla, announced the

launch of a new international tender for

crude oil and gas exploration in 12 regions

in the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile Delta,

this is according to state news agency MENA.

Launched by state-owned Egyptian Natural

Gas Holding Company (EGAS), the global

tender was set for 12 blocks, split evenly

between onshore and offshore.

The tender comes in continuation of the

petroleum ministry’s strategy, which was

launched in 2016 to increase investments in

the oil and gas exploration field in promising

regions, particularly the Mediterranean Sea.

This strategy offers opportunities to attract

new global companies to invest in Egypt and

encourages operating firms to expand and

increase their investments.

Image: courtesy


November-December issue l 2022 13


Meeting the need for skills and labour

to solve South Africa’s intensifying

energy crisis

Renewable energy

is the quickest and

most cost-effective

way to address the

country’s crisis

Wayne Alcock

Managing Director

Quyn International Outsourcing

By Wayne Alcock

South Africa’s recent energy crisis escalation into

Level 5 and 6 load shedding has highlighted

the stark need for businesses, industries and

municipalities to generate their own power. Mines were

first to establish their own solar plants to secure power

supply. Today, municipalities have followed suit with

the unveiling plans for initiatives to secure their own

supply and to eliminate dependence on the incumbent

power producer by creating decentralised power

generation. Recent reports noted that eThekwini,

South Africa’s third biggest city will issue a request

for proposals to construct 400 megawatts of power

generation capacity later this year or early in 2023. The

experts in alternative energy will need to be called in

to handle the planning, development, construction and

maintenance of these supply plants. This is good news

for South Africans as it will mean a significant increase

in the need for labour and skills specific to the energy

sector, as other industries and municipalities follow suit,

working to become more energy self-sufficient.

Desperate times

Eskom is currently responsible for meeting 95% of

South Africa’s demand for electricity. In September 2022,

Eskom started implementing Stage 6 power cuts which

meant businesses and homes were forced to go without

electricity for more than 10 hours a day. The company has

since reduced the severity of load shedding, vacillating

between Stages 2 and 3, depending on the time of

day. However, it’s not a simple case of being without

power. Rolling blackouts also affect the delivery of other

services, including water supply in some areas, resulting

in ‘water shedding’. With South Africa’s economy already

14 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


struggling to recover from the COVID-19

pandemic, South Africa is running out of time

to act. Already in 2022, one of Eskom’s coal

plants has passed its end-of-life status which

means 1,000MW will soon be offline. By 2035,

a further nine plants will have reached their

end-of-life, which means 19,000MW will go

offline and put 55,000 jobs at risk. By 2050,

12 plants will be offline, cutting 33,000MW

off the grid.

Desperate measures

Speaking at the 2023 Africa Renewable

Energy Investment Summit in late September,

chief executive officer Andre de Ruyter

outlined Eskom’s proposed solution to South

Africa’s energy crisis. The power utility plans

to lean heavily into renewable energy and

other planned projects. By the end of 2024,

de Ruyter said that most of the 33,000MW

shortfall will be covered by new projects,


• 3,500MW from the Seriti renewables


• 1,440MW from Kusile entering full


• 2,000MW from Independent Power

Producers (IPPs) on leased land

• 3,500MW from new pumped storage

• 1,500MW from municipal procurement

• 2,600MW from Renewable

Independent Power Producer Programme

(REIPPP) 5 projects

• 5,200MW from REIPPP 6 projects

• 7,000+MW from other projects

Addressing the crisis

Renewable energy is the quickest and most

cost-effective way to address the country’s

crisis – projects like wind and solar are

cheaper to build and can come online in

under two years. In contrast, new coal builds

are three to four times as expensive and

will likely take up to 12 years to complete.

This puts us at risk of further load shedding

and jeopardises nearly 46% of exports if

we fail to decarbonise. Earlier in July 2022,

President Ramaphosa announced a number

of proposed changes and solutions signalling

that the government has begun to break

the monopoly of its state-owned utility.

The regulatory changes are intended to

encourage development and growth of power

plants by allowing power plants of any size

to be constructed without prior licensing.

Previously, projects generating more than

100MW required licensing, while those

Image: Courtesy

generating 100MW or less were only allowed

to connect to the grid from 2021. Going

forward, Eskom will be allowed to purchase

capacity from private suppliers in order to

meet shortfalls. Also included in his reforms

was an increase to Eskom’s maintenance

budget, and an increase in recruitment of

skilled workers to meet the country’s growing

renewable energy sector.

Collective problem-solving

In the wake of a Solidarity Research

Institute (SRI) report revealing that South

Africa’s private sector will have to generate

almost as much power by 2035 as Eskom is

producing today, there has been an urgent

call for developers, shopping malls, largescale

enterprises, homeowners’ associations,

entrepreneurs, farmers and others to submit

applications for the generation, distribution

and sale of power. All of which is a good

indication that there is about to be a huge

boom in the renewables sector, which will

need to be met with the right skills and

supplied with an enormous labour force.

Where will these skills and this labour come

from? They won’t be easy for independent

power producers to source unassisted.

Furthermore, the scale of labour required is

not something that such entities will be able

to handle on their own.

Everyone doing their part

Not only will there be a need for skills and

labour to plan, develop and construct the

renewable energy production projects, there

will also be a need to run, manage and

maintain these plants once commissioned. It

will be necessary for organisations seeking

to build their own power generation capacity

to partner with a Temporary Employment

Services (TES) provider in order to meet

the human resource requirement of their

initiatives. TES providers have an important

role to play in addressing South Africa’s

energy crisis, as those that are experienced

in the construction and renewable energy

industry will already have an extensive

existing database of the necessary skills and

labour. This will significantly shorten the time

required to source, relocate and on-board

sufficient resources for the required duration.

Along with recruitment capabilities and a

nationwide footprint, the right TES partner

will also manage the human resource aspect

of any renewable power project. This means

that the organisation running the project

(whether developer, mining enterprise, farmer

or municipality) can completely outsource

this component that includes every aspect of

managing a labour force – such as payroll,

compliance, training, industrial relations

– handing these off with confidence to a

capable partner.

Although the future does seem bleak right

now, it is important for us to remember that

there is always hope. As South Africans,

we have always shown a unique ability to

problem solve. If every willing industry player,

business owner, and household pulls together

and contributes to the solution in whichever

way they are capable, we can pull South Africa

out of the dark times that lie ahead.


November-December issue l 2022 15


COP27: Kenya’s ambitious hydrogen deal &

plan to help Africa exploit green energy

Image: (L-R) Kenya President William

Ruto, FFI CEO Mark Hutchinson, Kenya

Foreign Affairs Minister Alfred Mutua

and FFI Executive Chairman Andrew

Forrest display copies of the Framework

Agreement at COP27 in Egypt. Photo:

Presidential Communication Service

By Tony Malesi

Kenya recently inked a deal with an

Australian firm to establish a green

hydrogen and ammonia plant,

kickstarting the country’s plan to utilise green

energy across the continent.

The industrial-scale production of green

hydrogen and ammonia will be vital in

making clean, affordable fuel and fertiliser

for Africa. Further, it will help Kenya, which

is already leading a geothermal revolution

across Africa, increase its footprint in the

renewable energy market.

Kenya’s deal with Fortescue Future Industries

(FFI), which has an expansive portfolio in

green hydrogen and renewable energy

projects worldwide, was signed on the

sidelines of the 27th Conference of Parties

(COP27) to the United Nations Framework

Convention on Climate Change in Egypt.

Kenya plays a leading role in the renewable

energy sector, with its geothermal capacity

(863 megawatts) ranked top in Africa

and seventh globally, according to The

International Renewable Energy Agency’s

Renewable Capacity Statistics 2022 report.

Kenya President William Ruto signed the

deal with the FFI Executive Chairman Andrew

Forrest. The company will set up an initial

300 MW green hydrogen and ammonia

plant in the next three years, which will

also produce fertiliser. The project will be

expanded in the future, with a target of

adding 25 MW.

Ruto said: "There is nowhere more crucial

for us to mark the public beginning of this

relationship than here at COP27 in Sharm

El-Sheikh, where we want to see actions

not words. Kenya is a leader of renewable

energy in Africa and we look forward to

the partnership with FFI to accelerate the

worldwide energy transition for the benefit of

the continent."

The multiplier effect of the hydrogen deal

will include job creation and boost food

security through its fertiliser production, said

Forrest. He emphasised FFI’s commitment to

helping Africa reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

The latest move has an estimated yearly

output of 1.7 million tonnes for export.

This will help Kenya join other continental

early adaptors like Nigeria and South Africa

to build Africa’s hydrogen and ammonia

capacity. United Nations Secretary-General

Antonio Guterres appealed to countries at the

ongoing COP27 to transition to green energy


A considerable growth is expected in the

global ammonia capacity in the next five

years, with a possible increase to 284.21

million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) in 2025

from 230.88 Mtpa in 2020, according to the

latest report by GlobalData Plc, a British

management consulting company.

The FFI deal comes after yet another green

hydrogen partnership with the United

Kingdom, targeting to produce 30GW. These

deals are part of a broader strategy by Kenya

to help Africa transition towards green energy.

Approximately Kenya's 30 per cent installed

capacity is produced by independent power

producers, while 70 per cent is produced

by Kenya Electricity Generating Company

PLC (KenGen), a 70 per cent state-owned

enterprise, according to the Kenya-Electrical

Power System report.

Slightly over 70 per cent of Kenya’s electricity

is produced from clean / renewable energy

sources, according to the report. Of all these

sources, geothermal ranks first, even as the

country plans to wean itself off thermal


Kenya has significant renewable energy

potential due to the country’s strong solar

output, strong coastal breezes and favorable

geology in many other locations. The $690

million Lake Turkana Wind Power plant

(310 MW), for instance, is poised to be the

largest wind plant across the continent once

completed, the report added.

Kenya’s geothermal leadership is already

being felt across the continent, with KenGen

aiding various African countries to use green


KenGen, which has a market share of over 60

per cent in East and Central Africa, has also

recently won multi-million dollars in tenders

to drill hundreds of geothermal wells in

Rwanda, Ethiopia and Djibouti, among others.

“We desire that in the next couple of years,

we shall have a considerable presence

across the continent,” said KenGen in a press

statement earlier in the year.

President Ruto requested developed nations

at COP27 to invest in Africa to save the globe

from the adverse effects of climate change,

citing numerous opportunities.

“There are opportunities to produce 20GW

of wind power and 10GW of geothermal

electricity,” he said.

There is sufficient hydro-electric potential

in East Africa to generate 100,000 MW, the

President said. If properly exploited, this can

generate enough clean energy for Africa and

export, he told the delegates.

16 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Distributed Power Africa

secures Ksh 332M to expand

solar energy solutions

Image: Courtesy

By Ronald Owili

Distributed Power Africa (DPA) Kenya is set to extend

deployment of solar energy solutions to commercial and

industrial customers in Kenya after securing Ksh 332

million funding from Mirova SunFunder.

DPA Chief Executive Officer Norman Moyo said the funding will

also help the renewable energy distributor deploy additional solar

sites in Kenya.

"We are excited to partner with Mirova SunFunder in scaling

up renewable energy access for the commercial and industrial

sector in Kenya. We believe energy is a key pillar in supporting

Africa’s economic development and digital transformation. With

this investment, we expect to see increased uptake of renewable

energy by enterprises in Kenya,” said Moyo.

Impact investor, Mirova SunFunder which helps in solving energy

access and climate change challenges in frontier markets in Africa

through clean energy financing said the funding marked another

milestone in expanding the provision of funding in the Kenyan market

through their Solar Energy Transformation (SET) Fund, which has been

fully deployed.

Mirova SunFunder Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer Audrey

Desiderato further said the firm is further working on a new Ksh 60

billion ($500 million) fund dubbed the Gigaton Fund.

"Mirova SunFunder's local presence and financial expertise combined

with the extensive customer pipeline of a leading pan-African company

like DPA, will accelerate the scaling of cost-effective solar energy

solutions to businesses in Kenya,” said Desiderato.

DPA currently develops and operates renewable energy projects across

Africa with a key focus on Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

The firm also provides renewable energy solutions to data centres,

telecom switching centres, telecom towers, manufacturing plants,

hospitals, and other large industrial users.


November-December issue l 2022 17


Kenyan firms to wait

longer for renewal of

mining permits

Kenya’s mining portfolio may lie

dormant from next month as firms

wait to renew licences, seven years

after former Mining Cabinet Secretary Najib

Balala revoked some permits.

The Kenyan government is yet to start

licensing new companies, forcing them to only

operate under a limited window of a gazette

notice. In 2015, Balala revoked 65 mining

licences through a gazette notice.

Industry players have been using licences

issued prior to the freeze to enable the state

to audit the licences. Simon Wall, the general

manager for external affairs at Base Titanium

said they were waiting for a word from the

government, saying lack of licences had

restricted expansion plans.

“We have multiple prospecting licences in

the system. We are keen on dialogue with the

government to see the moratorium lifted…

you can only mine what you know exists,” Mr

Wall said during the release of the company’s

sustainability report (2022).

He said the company remains keen on

expansion, including away from its current

Kwale base to prospecting in areas along the

Lamu-Tana River counties border.

Kenyan Mining and Blue Economy Cabinet

Secretary Salim Mvurya said the government

will conduct a geo-survey first, to ascertain

the kind and availability of minerals within

the country before issuing licensing.

“The data gathered from the survey will

enable the government to make conclusive

decisions on the viability of the minerals to

protect Kenyan resources,” said Mvurya this


Former president Uhuru Kenyatta had in June

launched the final report of the nationwide

airborne geophysical survey done earlier. But

the new CS says it was not done conclusively.

Under a multi-agency project, the Joint

National and Resource Mapping (JNAM)

released a current geospatial data covering

the entire country.

The eight projects developed under JNAM

mapped out schools, road reserves, forest

cover and encroached areas.

The project also developed a current cadaster

for Nairobi County identifying its public

land parcels, green spaces, health facilities,

schools, roads and road reserves.

A titanium mining field in Kwale County, Kenya. Credit: NMG

18 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


Natural resource

extraction in Ghana needs

tighter regulations,



By Kiran Pandey

Ghana’s natural resources need

to be better regulated to reduce

environmental damage, a recent

survey has found. Local communities are also

deprived of their fair share of benefits of

natural resource extraction.

Over 60 per cent of Ghanaians believe mining,

oil drilling and wood harvesting negatively

impact the environment, a survey released

November 8, 2022, by research network

Afrobarometer found.

The results were based on interviews by

non-profit research and advocacy institute

Ghana Center for Democratic Development

on behalf of Afrobarometer. The research

network provides data on African experiences

and evaluations of democracy, governance

and quality of life.

The government needs to tighten regulation

of natural resource extraction, over 85 per

Mining operations in Tarkwa, Ghana. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

cent of the survey participants said.

The Ghanaians were evenly split in their

views on whether locals get a fair share of

benefits of natural resource extraction near

their communities. Half the participants said

local communities are also deprived of their

fair share of benefits of natural resource


Natural resources such as gold and oil,

among others, have helped transform Ghana’s

economic growth, according to World Bank.

But despite this, citizen’s participation in

extraction governance is limited, showed the

survey by Afrobarometer.

About 40 per cent of participants felt that

the benefits natural resource extraction

outweighed the negative impacts.

New research published in the

journal Resources Policy, titled “Artisanal and

small-scale mining formalization challenges

in Ghana: explaining grassroots perspectives,”

supported the Afrobarometer survey findings.

About 85 per cent of artisanal and small-scale

mining operators or the poor communities

engaged in artisanal gold mining have no say

in decision making, according to the research.

These poor people are termed “galamseyers”

and are considered a “menace” to society by

the government and often excluded from the

decision-making process.

Ghana is a signatory to the international

protocol on Free, Prior and Informed Consent

of Indigenous Peoples. The local people need

to agree to any extraction in their jurisdiction,

as per the protocol.


November-December issue l 2022 19



Treatment in Africa

Image: WEC Projects Model R, Packaged Wastewater treatment plant

By Dorcas Kang'ereha

Challenges and possible solutions for

wastewater treatment in Africa

Wastewater treatment is a

process used to remove

contaminants from wastewater

and convert it into an effluent that can be

returned to the water cycle with minimum

environmental issues or that can be reused.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines

sanitation as “the provision of facilities and

services for the safe management of human

excreta from the toilet to containment and

storage and treatment on-site or conveyance,

treatment and eventual safe end use or

disposal.” Used water from toilets, showers,

baths, kitchen sinks, laundries and industrial

processes are examples of wastewater.

Global water demand is expected to increase

significantly in the next few decades.

Agriculture is responsible for 70% of total

freshwater consumption worldwide (90% in

the least developed countries), while energy

and industry are responsible for 20%. The

remaining 10% is used for drinking water,

sanitation, hygiene, and other domestic

purposes, this is according to Sustainability

2021 report.

The report further reveals that, wastewater

is a crucial component of water resource

management and neglecting wastewater

issues generates significant negative

impacts on the environment, the occurrence

of waterborne diseases due to the use of

contaminated water sources, and the wellbeing

of communities. Underestimating

the impacts related to wastewater means

seriously compromising the achievement

of the Sustainable Development Goals

(SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda which targets to

improve water quality by reducing pollution,

eliminating dumping, and minimizing release

of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving

the proportion of untreated wastewater

and substantially increasing recycling and

safe reuse globally.” The achievement of this

target is critical for achieving the entire 2030

Agenda and, in particular, for SDGs concerning

health, education, cities, and industry.

20 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com

The relevant


institutions should

open a discussion

on these concerns

and present possible

solutions to the

relevant regulatory

bodies and the

ministry concerned

- Eng. Reuben Juma Onunga -

A joint report by the African Development

Bank, the United Nations Environment

Programme, and GRID-Arendal reveals that,

while significant efforts are being made

across Africa to ensure better access and

services, many places still have inadequate

infrastructure for sanitation and wastewater

management. This is happening at a time

of greater need due to population growth,

rapid urbanization, improving lifestyles, and

industrial and agricultural expansion – all in

a region that has low resilience to climate


Challenges facing wastewater

treatment industry facilities

Poor waste management

According to Eng. Reuben Juma Onunga,

Deputy Team Leader COWI A/S, there

is a great challenge with the quality of

effluent received at wastewater treatment

systems. Poor drainage and poor solid waste

management in towns and cities lead to

an overload of wastewater management

facilities. Poor drainage infrastructure

means sewers that are designed to operate

as separate systems with carrying capacity

designed for wastewater get overloaded

as they are temporarily turned into

combined systems carrying wastewater and

stormwater. More stormwaters also arrive

at the wastewater treatment facility. On the

other hand, poor solid waste management

means excessive solids are washed into the

sewerage infrastructure leading to blockages.

Also, a solid waste handling burden is created

at the wastewater treatment plant. Excessive

solids floating on ponds reduce the efficiency

of waste stabilization ponds. Proper urban

planning with an integrated approach to the

management of drainage, solid waste and

wastewater, and faecal sludge, should be

adopted. Implementation of prepared master

plans is also critical.

Lack of knowledge

“Most people don’t know that such technology

exists, is one of the biggest challenges. They

don’t believe that wastewater can be purified

and reused. There is also the challenge

that people mistake the technology for

biodigesters which has not had the best

results in solving waste water management

issues,” says Emmanuel Kariuki Engineering

Director Sewertech Kenya Ltd.


“The wastewater management sector in

Kenya has lagged. Focus has been on the

water supply sector. Water attracts more

investments than wastewater. The neglect

of investment in wastewater has led to

pollution of the environment. It is now that

investment in wastewater is picking up.

Revenue from wastewater is factored in as

a percentage of the water supply revenue

and is usually recovered by adding it as a

percentage to the water bills,” observed

Eng. Onunga. “The recent investment in

wastewater has focused on trunk mains. The

laterals that connect the consumers to the

trunk sewers had been ignored. It is now

that the financiers are emphasizing last-mile

connectivity to ensure the trunk mains and

treatment infrastructure are not underutilized

as before. In addition to attracting funding

for wastewater infrastructure, it is important

to ring-fence revenue from wastewater for

reinvestment. Implementation of waste-toenergy

approaches may also create additional

commercial resources which make waste

management profitable.” He adds.

Poor operation and


Rick from SBEF debates on Poor operation

and maintenance. “No matter how perfect

or complex the wastewater treatment is

designed by the manufacturer, the system

will eventually be handed over to the

customers for operation. The people who

take over the operation often have no way to

run the system in a state of high efficiency.


For example, operators think that the more

certain chemicals such as nutrient salts or

coagulants are added, the better it is but to

be honest, it is a waste of money or they think

that the higher control of a certain parameter

like dissolved oxygen, the better it is, and the

same conclusion is waste a lot of power,” he



“The other concern regarding the quality of

waste arriving at wastewater management

is the concentration of the influent. Poor

monitoring of industrial waste discharge

to the sewer system leads to the illegal

discharge of industrial effluent into municipal

wastewater treatment systems. Though the

industries are mandated by law to pre-treat

their wastewater or effluents to the standards

that are fit for discharge to the sewer system

or receiving water bodies, most of them

don’t comply,” says concerned Eng. Onunga.

“Measures such as the “polluter pay principle”

have been considered to hold the polluting

industries to account, but enforcement is

weak. Most industries only comply when they

hear the enforcement officers are visiting and

it is not possible to tell what happens when

the officers leave. The samples delivered

by the industries to test laboratories for

monitoring compliance are usually an

improved version that does not reflect the

daily performance of their treatment systems.

The corruption of monitoring officers also

contributes to false positive reporting in

favour of the polluting industries, allowing

them to go scot-free. The main reason

why industries struggle with compliance

is usually the high cost of industrial waste

treatment both in capital and operation and

maintenance costs. Continued surveys and

sampling for industrial waste and guidance


on wastewater

education would

really boost the

industry and

expedite the current


- Emmanuel Kariuki -


November-December issue l 2022 21


Image: Sewertech Kenya Ltd

on economical treatment methods may be a

solution. Industrialists should also be brought

on board as important stakeholders in the

wastewater management sector. Regulating

institutions should deploy persons with

integrity to the field,” he upholds.

Lack of competent resources

and budget constraints

Karl Juncker, Director (Pr. Eng) at Wecprojects

pinpoints on three major issues facing the

A serious re-look

at the way the

treatment industry

is being run and

change of policy

and strategy in

order to rectify

- Karl Juncker -

wastewater industry, but are not limited to:

a. Lack of competent resources

(technical and administrative) in the WSA’s

and municipalities to manage, maintain and

operate the works.

b. Restrictive and slow procurement

processes and an inefficient approach to

resolving the challenge.

c. Budget constraints and the inability

to effectively apply for and process budget

through (an ineffective) supply chain.

“There is not enough budget for the project

from client side. This issue is more likely to

occur in small factories. Basically, we need

to allocate more budget when we use more

land and equipment but its the engineering

cost that is not directly proportional to the

amount of water it treats. The most basic

wastewater system is not cheap and it is not

easy for small factories to afford. Compare

to the big factories, and according to the

wastewater characteristics, maybe they can

just use the basic system to deal with which

is a small expense for them,” Adds Rick.

Poor planning

“Faecal sludge management is another area

of concern. In the sanitation service chain,

proper containment, emptying, transportation,

treatment, and disposal of treatment byproducts

is critical. Some waste finds itself

in the environment due to poor containment

infrastructures such as unlined pit latrines,

unprofessional emptiers that discharge

waste into the environment like in drains

and on abandoned fields along the road

to treatment sites, poor treatment due to

inefficient faecal sludge treatment plants, and

illegal disposal of treatment by-products. It

is recommended to carry out socio-economic

studies that provide adequate data to assist

in the mapping and effective planning of the

management of faecal sludge. A shit-flow

diagram is a good tool for understanding

the sanitation service chain. It provides the

percentage of properly managed waste and

poorly managed waste. This information

is important for planning the reduction of

open defecation and eventual phasing out of

onsite sanitation methods such as unlined

pit latrines, lined pit latrines, VIP toilets, and

septic and conservancy tanks, as towns and

cities transition their waste management

approaches from onsite to water-borne. The

private faecal sludge operators should also

be well-trained and monitored. Separate

wastewater treatment and faecal sludge

treatment are also important to avoid

shock loads on municipal treatment plants.

Decentralized wastewater treatment systems

(DEWATS) are also needed to capture waste

where it is produced rather than focusing

on centralized wastewater treatment. With

DEWATS, wastewater treatment by-products

may be used at the generation catchments,

compared to by-products from centralized

wastewater treatment systems which are

usually in the outskirts of the towns and

difficult to transport back for use in the

catchments,” says Eng. Onunga.

Addressing the wastewater

treatment challenges

Proper infrastructure and


Management of wastewater is challenging.

The requirement for the management of

dirty water is higher than that of clean

water. Special pumps are required to pump

wastewater and sludge. Breakdown of

electromechanical equipment is a common

22 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


occurrence. When pretreatment equipment

fails, flooding results. Also, solids that

escape the screens due to flooding find

their way into the downstream wastewater

treatment systems. These create a huge

burden for cleanup, especially in waste

stabilization ponds. The solids may also

damage electromechanical equipment

like pumps. When pumps fail, and there

is no sufficient redundancy, flooding of

the environment may occur. Pump and

pretreatment equipment breakdown, in

institutions without good emergency

response may lead to long downtime during

which the critical pretreatment processes are

bypassed. The downstream treatment systems

are in turn overloaded. The construction

of holding ponds and raised treatment

platforms and even cut-off drains may curb

flooding. During design, proper provision for

redundancy for equipment, a clear operation,

and maintenance regime, and availability of

spare parts and other resources are important

considerations; this is according to Eng.


Effective policies and


On the other hand Eng. Junker believes in

a serious re-look at the way the treatment

industry is being run and change of policy

and strategy in order to rectify. “The DWS is

already looking into partnerships with private

entities to assist – this is most likely the very

best move they can do and I promote that it

happens quickly and effectively,” he extols.


Championing the wastewater industry,

Eng. Kariuki is certain that emphasizing on

wastewater education would really boost the

industry and expedite the current challenges.

“People need to be educated more and shown

the results of wastewater treatment. They

should also be educated on better ways to

handle their wastewater,” he emphasized.

Consulting the experts

Finding a suitable consulting engineering

company is one of the most important

and critical step before implementing a

wastewater treatment system project, this

is according to Rick. “I think it is important

to consult a suitable engineering company

before implementing a wastewater treatment

system project. The reference condition is

the firm has performed in the same industry

of wastewater before. Due to characteristics

of wastewater discharged from various

industries are different, the design of

systems will also be very different. If the

industrial wastewater has high COD and

requires biological treatment, I recommend

using MBBR (Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor

technology) because MBBR saves more

than 60% of the area and compares to

the activated sludge way, it is easier to

maintenance and operate,” he commends.

“In our experience, our customers who

use MBBR don`t need to hire professional

operators. They just need to let the existing

employees establish a simple education or

SOP then can run MBBR well. This system

is also suitable for small and medium-size

factories but not all of industries are suitable

for MBBR technology such as electroplating

wastewater industry because you may need

chemical coagulation to remove heavy metals

in wastewater instead of using biological

treatment technology. Finally, as for how to

deal with your wastewater, let`s back to what

I said in the beginning: find a professional

wastewater engineering company to help

you,” he highlights.

Proper legislation from the

relevant authorities

“From the policy point of view, it is important

to update all designs and practice manuals.

This includes adapting them properly to

the local needs and current trends in waste

management. Various institutions that are

charged with the responsibility of setting up

environmental management standards should

work together. In Kenya, the Water Resources

Authority (WRA), National Environmental

Management Authority (NEMA), and Ministry

of Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation (MWS&I)

all have standards regarding the quality

of discharges to the environment. Some of

the parameters have been found to be in

conflict, making it difficult for designers to

decide what requirements to adopt in design,”

remarks Eng. Onunga. “A particular standard

in one of the guidelines, dealing with the

requirement for faecal coliform, seems to

be very strict having been set at “nil”. This

is more strict than similar applications in

It is important to

consult a suitable


company before


a wastewater

treatment system


- Rick -

the region. Such unrealistic standards make

wastewater management infrastructure

unnecessarily expensive. The relevant

professional institutions should open a

discussion on these concerns and present

possible solutions to the relevant regulatory

bodies and the ministry concerned so that

such inconsistencies are harmonized and

accurately legislated,” he concludes.

Wastewater Treatment Consulting is a great

help in achieving your wastewater treatment

goals and solutions. These professionals

have specialized knowledge in the field of

wastewater treatment, and can help you make

informed decisions that will help protect the

environment. Major wastewater consulting

firms have experts in wastewater treatment

and can provide a wide range of services.

They should be able to provide you with an

analysis and design that fits your business


Additionally, they should have the necessary

infrastructure and resources to assist you.

They should also offer expert witness

engagements and specialized business

services. This type of consulting also offers

a variety of other environmental services,

such as hazardous waste management

and pollution prevention planning. These

services are helpful to municipal and state

government agencies, as well as businesses.

Professional wastewater consultants can

also help in obtaining the necessary permits

required for any discharge of wastewater

and optimize your wastewater treatment

processes. Contact Wastewater Treatment

Consulting experts today and make your

operation safer, compliant and more efficient.


November-December issue l 2022 23


How engineers can design the

next 100 years with digital twins

Image Courtessy

By Bonga Ntuli

Imagine being alive 100 years ago, when fridges, microwaves, and

hairdryers didn’t exist. You’d get around by horse and cart, so you

couldn’t travel very far very fast. And if you had an infection, your

doctor would likely prescribe blood-sucking leeches since Penicillin

had not yet been discovered.

Much like we can’t imagine what life was like 100 years ago, no one

knows what the world will look like in 2122. Will there be flying

autonomous cars? Undersea megacities? Will we get around by

teleporting? Who knows.

The difference between then and now is that we have Digital Twin

technology that allows us to play and experiment with different

scenarios and outcomes.

With great power comes great responsibility

As engineers, we like to think big, like smart cities, affordable, safe,

and dependable public transportation networks, and sustainable

and resilient water systems that help society to deal with floods and

drought while ensuring everyone has clean water to drink. We enjoy

looking beyond the present to the possibilities of the future.

Every five or ten years, I look back on my career and think, ‘how did

we do our job before?’ Similarly, engineers 50 years ago, 30 years ago,

and even ten years ago didn’t envisage that we’d have technology that

would give us superpowers to time travel to the future to design the

best outcomes for society.

It’s easy to get carried away by what’s possible. And, while we should

think big about what is possible for Southern Africa, there are a lot of

little things we need to get right before we start talking about things

like flying cars.

We need to “futureproof the fundamentals”—our water and energy

infrastructure, road networks, and data-gathering and analysing

capabilities. And we can do this by laying the foundation for a Digital

Twin of our infrastructure.

Measure twice, cut once with a Digital Twin

A Digital Twin is a virtual world that matches the real world in its

complexity, scale, and accuracy. It’s an exact digital re-creation of an

object or environment, like a road network or underground water

infrastructure— and there are so many things you can do in it.

If you’ve ever played The Sims, you’ve experimented with simulation

technology. Your avatar self can do anything, be anything without

consequences or reward in the real world. But what if you could make

those simulations come true? You’d have a superpower.

With Digital Twin technology, governments can build a model of cities

and monitor the data pulsing through them to get real-time insights

into the state of infrastructure. This data forms the foundation of the

Digital Twin. And the more data points we have, the more solutions

we can experiment with until we find the one with the biggest social,

economic, and environmental impact.

The ‘measure twice, cut once’ proverb in carpentry teaches that

measurements should be double-checked to ensure accuracy before

24 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


cutting the wood. That is, before taking any action, we must carefully

plan so that we do not waste time, energy, or resources correcting


With a Digital Twin, city planners can see what would happen if

they modified a city’s layout, planned a road, or changed the traffic

systems. They can compute not just one possible future but many

possible futures.

And if it doesn’t work in the Digital Twin, it won’t work in the real

world. Testing it out first means we prevent bad decisions. And the

more ‘what-if’ situations we test, the more creative and effective the

solution will be.

Here’s an example:

How do you cater for more cars? Do you build more roads? Possibly.

But what if there’s no budget or space for more roads? Could you

optimise traffic flow in real-time to keep vehicles moving, avoid

bottlenecks, and reduce emissions? You could, with a Digital Twin.

Or take water as another example. Many municipalities don’t know

where their pipelines are or the state they’re in because records have

been lost.

But we can fix this problem quickly by sending sensors into the water

pipe network to determine a pipe’s location, size, and capacity. We

can then use that information to build an accurate digital map of

the existing system. This would enable us to predict and manage

demand and pressure, implement just-in-time maintenance, and

avoid outages caused by burst pipes.

Our best starting point is to reverse-engineer and fix our existing

infrastructure. We must take better care of it to increase its lifespan

and buy time to build new infrastructure. As my colleague always

says, it’s cheaper to maintain infrastructure than it is to fix it, and it’s

cheaper to fix infrastructure than to replace it.

With load shedding at all-time highs and more water shedding on

the cards, there’s a sense of urgency to get it right the first time. We

can’t afford to get it wrong.

But the gap between where we are today and where we’d like to be

is massive.

Back to basics

Bonga Ntuli: Director, Strategy at Royal HaskoningDHV

We need to start thinking—and preparing—for the future. But

we can’t do that until we get the fundamentals right. We need

to put time and effort into the groundwork today so that we can

build infrastructure that’s capable of serving the needs of future


It starts with collecting, sharing, and using data appropriately. It will

require coordinated collaboration between multiple stakeholders,

including the public and private sectors and affected communities, to

co-create solutions.

Most importantly, we need a strategy to create Digital Twins. With

an immutable overview of all work done on our infrastructure,

we can start to build institutional memory and promote trust and

transparency. We’d also eliminate wasteful expenditure, compound

the return on investment, and ensure sustainable outcomes for today

and the next 100 years.

The work involved in building Digital Twins would also create

jobs—not just for computer programmers and data analysts but for

entry-level workers too. Together, we could make our cities more

sustainable, efficient, and liveable for everyone.

It’s true that we can’t manage what we don’t know, but we can

start with what we do know, and we can gather more data as we

go because the more data we have, the more digital twins we can

build, the more people will understand their value. It will spark a

movement, and we cannot yet understand how fast that’s going to



November-December issue l 2022 25


Exyn Technologies

Secures $35M Series B


Hero-BackPak-sureveyteam. Image: Exyn Technologies

Exyn Technologies, a pioneer in multiplatform

robotic autonomy for complex,

GPS-denied environments, announced

today a $35 million Series B round. The

investment came from previous investors

as well as new investors including Reliance

Industries. Exyn will utilize this investment

to break into the Indian market and further

expand their global footprint into Latin

America, Australia, and Africa and bring

exposure into their future business verticals.

“With our mission of decreasing the amount

of injuries and fatalities in ‘physical’ industries

gathering data in dangerous environments,

having this investment will accelerate Exyn’s

impact and growth. With this new capital, we

will further expand our worldwide footprint

to dramatically improve safety for those

working in dangerous environments around

the world and keeping them out of harm’s

way,” commented Nader Elm, CEO of Exyn


ExynPak_Tablet_constructionExyn is a

pioneer in the field of AI technology and has

commercialized the highest level of aerial

drone autonomy in the world with their

multi-award-winning Autonomy Level 4

(AL4). Exyn’s robots are able to autonomously

navigate in previously inaccessible

environments without a prior map, existing

infrastructure (GPS, communications, etc.), or

an operator in the loop. Subsequently, Exyn

has established itself in a dominant position

in the mining vertical with this technology

and expanded into construction, warehouse,

and government use cases including search &

rescue and reconnaissance.


“AL4, the highest level of aerial autonomy

in the market, has been a key differentiator

in the mining industry,” said Elm. “The

application of our fully autonomous robots

is expansive and with this investment and

partnership we look forward to transforming

dangerous, physical data collection into a

safer and more efficient workflow that can

unlock further operational effectiveness and

efficiency for our customers.”

Exyn was recognized by the Inc 5000 awards

as #177 among America’s fastest growing

companies. The company has also been

awarded 1st place at the AUVSI Xcellence


26 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com



Looks to the Future of Delivery

and Sees Autonomy

The future of package delivery will

be autonomous and tech-driven and

consumers should start preparing

now to reap its benefits, predicts Dronedek

Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dan


“We have reached a place where consumers

want things delivered better, faster, fresher

and cheaper,” says O’Toole. “Getting the most

for the least is what it’s all about. Paying less,

not having to leave, having the quality and

freshness, right now, is where we want to be.”

Meeting this consumer demand will speed

autonomous delivery, he said, adding that he

is optimistic consumers will quickly adapt to

the new opportunities.

“Consumers are often skeptical of new

technology, and autonomous delivery is no

different, but had consumers not already been

ready to adapt in earlier times, we’d still be

delivering packages by horse and buggy,” he


“We have reached a place where consumers

want things delivered better, faster, fresher

and cheaper,” says O’Toole.

Dan O’Toole, Dronedek Founder and Chief

Executive Officer. Image: Dronedek

deliveries can be safely shipped and


2. No noise or privacy issues: Most

consumer concerns about autonomous

delivery have already been addressed.

Dronedek is working with partners to

reduce drone noise, and laws already

exist to address privacy and safety.

3. Safety will increase: Autonomous

delivery will improve safety around

the country. Both aerial drones and

unmanned autonomous vehicles have

significant operational time under

their belts and have proven safer

than manned operations in the same


4. A cleaner environment: Autonomous

delivery is better for the environment.

For every 1 percent of shipped items

being delivered autonomously to

a Dronedek in the US, 3,000 fossil

fuel burning trucks will no longer be

needed. The positive ripple effect of

which means fewer greenhouse gases,

road repair, lower fuel costs, fewer

accidents, fewer injuries, fewer deaths

and lower insurance costs.

“I am so optimistic about the future,” adds

O’Toole. ” Better, faster, fresher, cheaper are

all metrics that deliver on the promise of


O’Toole plans to have Dronedek mailboxes of

the future available for subscription service in

the first quarter of 2023. Dronedek mailboxes

are secure devices that can accept deliveries

of every kind – human, robotic or drone. Top 4

benefits of autonomous delivery:

1. No more worry about package

theft, damage or inaccurate

delivery: Dronedek smart mailboxes

provide a climate-controlled, secure

receptacle to store deliveries until

consumer retrieve them whether they’re

delivered by drone, robot or human.

They’re controlled by app so sensitive

Dronedek’s mailbox of the future. Image: Dronedek


November-December issue l 2022 27


Fugro launches state-of-the art geotechnical vessel for

safe and sustainable offshore operations

Fugro Quest, a state-of-the-art vessel Officer, performed the naming ceremony

400kHz equipped RESON T50 with multibeam advanced and did deep-water not wreck ahead search of the in vessel’s an unMapped maiden voyage.

only reveal technology, individual munitions is the newest items, addition but also to areaThe vessel will commence operations

Fugro’s numerous, geotechnical at first glance, vessel piles of fleet. unidentifiable To make best use of the time, multibeam

in December for Vattenfall's offshore

objects. Owing to high beam density (600 mapping was always conducted at night time.

beams/120° swath) and small footprints

Once wind the areas farm in Lübeck near Bay Norfolk had been in fully the United

Fugro uses this type of vessel to

(0.5x1°), even sedimentary features, such as mapped, Kingdom. the researchers spontaneously decided

determine the exact composition of the

scours around possible targets could be

to visit yet another site that is located 6nm to the

soil; observed. the Based resulting on this data, a are contact essential list was east. Historic research indicates that the area

Fugro Quest ’s capabilities include the

to created establish and once the again optimal the AUVs location were and called Großklützhöved was used to scuttle entire

acquisition of high-quality geotechnical






mapping. After


the trip, detailed


barges that were loaded with munitions. The

processing and interpretation of the data

prospect data of investigating from 2,000 a munitions-filled metres below wreck sea level.

as wind farms. The vessel provides

revealed that the Pelzerhaken area alone was exciting The vessel to everyone is equipped on board and with when the cuttingedge

systems and advanced deep-water


contains at least


1691 individual




first wreck was visible in the data, the entire

safety, objects and whilst 127 piles its energy of munitions. efficient The design group quickly gathered around the multibeam

technology such as WISON® Mk V

results, different distribution average, patterns in significantly

originate from two station. During the course of the night, two

very different methods of dumping. One way additional Ecodrive, wrecks (one SEACALF® of which appeared Mk V Deep to be Drive®

lower fuel consumption than for other

was to throw the munitions overboard, which a sailing as boat) well were as found. dedicated The next coring day, the systems two

geotechnical vessels. Moreover, its

led to individual objects sometimes forming sunken barges were explored using towed

and onboard soil-testing laboratory

ability lines or other to take patterns, hydrotreated which now allow vegetable the TV-CTD with real-time video stream. One of

facilities. Its remote positioning and

oil course (HVO) of a dumping biofuel vessel and to remote be retraced. operations The them capsized and lost its hazardous cargo

fast data-processing capabilities enable






of dumping was


to fill barges with


during sinking. In the darkness of the Baltic Sea,

munitions and open them once a dedicated site a pile clients of grenade to cartridges access came acquired into view project of the data

sustainable operations.

had been reached. This resulted in chaotic piles TV-CTD










and video




of both larger objects and boxes containing

Barbara smaller items. Geelen, Figure Fugro’s 5 shows both Chief types Financial of

patterns in the Pelzerhaken area.

combined with high resolution MBES led to a

more qualified estimate of the amount of

Dennis Koenen, Fugro’s Service Line

dumped munitions. For the planning of future

UXO remediation, it was essential to gain precise

knowledge about the number, location and types

of munitions.

During MineMoni-II, there was not enough time to

map the entire area of Großklützhöved, so the

researchers decided Fugro Quest|image that they would come Fugro back in

2021 to finish the job. When ALKOR returned to

Director for Geotechnics in Europe

and Africa said: “Today’s launch is

fully aligned with our path to net

zero operations by 2035. Fugro

Quest consumes less fuel than other

large geotechnical vessels. It is hybrid

ready, comes with automatic handling

of tubulars and geotechnical tools and

has the latest IT capabilities onboard

to safely carry out operations across

the globe. Bookings until July 2023 are

already in place, and we’re excited to

show how our new vessel can enhance

the execution of our projects.”

Kiel harbour, the team were able to look back at

two very successful weeks. More than 26km² had

been mapped to acquire high-resolution

multibeam data. Water samples were taken at 77

locations, which means that over 200 syringes

with exchanger resin are stored in the freezer,

waiting to be analysed with liquid chromatographymass

spectrometry. The AUVs ANTON and LUISE

went on 36 missions to acquire tens of thousands

of photographs and finally, 32 TV-CTD profiles

were filmed. It will take the researchers a year to

evaluate this massive amount of data. By then,

they will be ready to embark on MineMoni-III,

which is planned for October 2021.

Disclaimer: With the contribution of the European Maritime and

Fisheries Fund of the European Union (Grant Agreement No:

863702 (BASTA); 863693 (ExPloTect)

IGI AEROcontrol / TERRAcontrol

Compact GNSS/IMU System for:

• Cameras (RGB/NIR)

• Thermal Cameras

• LiDAR, Hypersprectral and

Radar Sensors

• Mobile Mapping Systems




Because accuracy matters !

Contact us for integration with your sensors today - sales@igi-systems.com

28 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com

Hydro INTERNATIONAL | ISSUE 3 2021 | 17

6 | |



Offshore Namibia partners set to

resume drilling on Venus oil discovery

Ocean Infinity Expands Robotic NOAA Unveils 2022 Hydrographic

Survey Season Fleet partnership with in Six Block 2913B Additional offshore AUVs


Africa Oil expects the TotalEnergies-led

Namibia to start appraisal drilling

early next year on the deepwater Venus light

oil and associated gas discovery.

Kongsberg Maritime has

announced that Ocean

Infinity has signed an order

for six HUGIN Autonomous

Underwater Vehicles (AUVs)

rated to 3,000 metres depth.

The vehicles are equipped with

a geophysical sensor suite and

the latest-generation Kongsberg

batteries. The new vehicles will

be mobilized for global operations, enabled by Ocean Infinity’s remote operations

infrastructure. The vehicles will integrate as part of the Armada fleet of uncrewed

and optionally-crewed vessels and will augment the company’s existing AUVs, rated

to 6,000 metres depth.

Various wells and production flow tests

should allow the partners to address

uncertainties concerning reservoir

distribution and dynamic behavior. Africa

Oil This has latest an order indirect from interest Ocean Infinity via its takes 30.8%

their shareholding fleet of HUGIN in AUVs one to of more the than partners, 20. Impact.

The company also has a 20% operated

interest in Block 3B/4B offshore South Africa,

on trend with Venus and the Shell-operated

Graff oil discovery, both in the Orange Basin.

Dan Hook, CTO of Ocean Infinity, said: “Lessening the environmental impact of

Last month the partners secured approval

operations at sea is core to our business, and with an expanded

to extend the license by a further two years,

fleet of robotics we’ll have greater capacity to offer sustainable

with studies continuing on maturing drilling

offshore data acquisition services. Using these AUVs as part of


our robotic fleet, we’ll be supporting the growing renewables

sector with remote data and inspection services.”

Offshore Nigeria, Africa Oil has an interest

(via local company Prime) in the Egina oil

field. With production falling due to reservoir

decline, certain wells will be shut in for

planned interventions.

An infill drilling program has been pushed

back to 2023, due to late arrival of the rig;

the partners had planned to drill up to six

development wells.

NOAA hydrographic survey ships and contractors are preparing for the 2022

hydrographic survey season in U.S. coastal waters and beyond. The ships

collect bathymetric data (i.e. map the seafloor) to support nautical charting,

modelling and research, but also collect other environmental data to support

a variety of ecosystem sciences.

The map, taken from Africa

NOAA considers hydrographic survey requests from Oil's second-quarter 2022

results report, illustrates

stakeholders such as marine pilots, local port authorities, the company's OML 130

the U.S. Coast Guard and the boating community, investment and outlook for the

next 12 months. |Image

also considers other hydrographic and NOAA science courtesy

priorities in determining where to survey and when. It is

worth visiting

NOAA’s ‘living’

story map to find

out more about the

mapping projects

and whether a


vessel will be in

your area this year.

Prime and its upstream partners are working

on conversion to Nigeria’s new Petroleum

Industry Act terms and renewal of the OML

127 and OML 130 licenses. This could

facilitate a final investment decision on the

development of the Preowei oil discovery via

a subsea tieback to the Egina FPSO to the




Coastline Mapping Above

and Below the Waterline

Harbour Mapping


solutions for hydrographic surveying


November-December issue l 2022 29




At OMT architects they aim to contribute through their

projects and visions to a sustainable future. They value

local traditions and support empowerment of existing

communities. Through connecting with these communities and

in combination with their research into local and sustainable

construction methods and resources they develop innovative

design solutions. The implementation of sustainable materials, such

as timber, is combined with flexible spatial layouts to support long

living and adaptable buildings. OMT architects are located in Berlin.

The firm was founded by Leander Moons, previously at home in East-

Africa and now based in New York, and Andreas Trampe-Kieslich.

In the heart of Fumba Town, a remarkable

and distinctive new timber tower is

designed by Birk Heilmeyer and Frenzel

Architects and OMT architects.

30 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


OMT architects are committed to designing and delivering sustainable building

solutions especially in the place where this matters most; Africa! Africa Surveyors

conducted an interview with Leander Moons, co-founder of the OMT architects,

and here is their unique story.

AS: When was OMT architects founded and what inspired you to form

the firm?

LM: During the 3 years I lived in Nairobi I first got into contact with the project

Fumba Town in Zanzibar and the developer behind this project, Sebastian

Dietzold CEO of CPS live. During the initial project work I was working at that

time for Bowman Architects Associates in Nairobi – we and our familiesbecame

good friends. This also due to the fact that they through their development of

Fumba Town were looking beyond the conventional in terms of architecture

and building systems. It was a few years after my relocation to New York when

we started to envision concepts for more sustainable approaches with timber

also for complex multi-story buildings. The local architectural companies, my

previous firm in Nairobi included, could not provide designs for these innovative

building systems (and also were not really interested in this kind of innovation).

I had been running my own design studio, Leander Moons Inc, as a sidekick

for a while next to my regular jobs with a special focus on more sustainable

design approaches. Once the Covid-19 Pandemic hit, things started to move very

rapidly as we discovered the possibilities of bringing our visions to life over

web-based meeting platforms. Now my remote location in New York was no

longer an issue for projects located in East-Africa. Soon I was looking to extend

my design company to cover the resulting workload. I decided to restructure

my approach and to use my existing design company, Leander Moons Inc, to

advise and support clients and consultants at the early design stages with the

implementation of sustainable design systems into potential projects. For all

our projects I deliver the design concepts and project management services

through my design company. I founded, together with Andreas Trampe-Kieslich,

an architectural office in Berlin early 2021. All detailed architectural services

are delivered through that company and provided to the local team of architects

(part of CPS) for permitting and site implementation. Within OMT architects,

Andreas is overseeing our local projects in Germany and I am responsible for all

non-German projects.

AS: What is/are the most iconic projects you have been involved in?

LM: The BURJ zanzibar is certainly the most iconic project we have been

involved in. However, it is important to understand, that a project like this, a

high-rise hybrid-timber residential tower; the tallest in Africa and potentially

in the world, is only possible because of the other projects we have realised

or are under construction in a similar context. Through the experience and

increasing scale and complexity of the other timber projects and our work with

leading local and international researchers, consultants and companies, we have

gathered the experience to realize this iconic project. Iconic not only in terms of

its architecture, innovation and scale, but more importantly as a catalyst for the

development of a local industry for engineered timber products.

AS: How would you describe your firm in a unique competitive edge?

LM: Timber is regarded as the building material of the future as it is much

better for our climate than any of the conventional building materials. At the

same time the development and implementation of timber building systems is

still very limited, both in terms of quantities and in terms of locations. Certainly,

Europe is most advanced when it comes to implementation, with the rest of

the world slowly catching up. The application of engineered timber products in

Africa is unfortunately still limited to a handful projects, not in the last place

due to the fact that many people regard wood as a building material for the

Leander Moons

founder - Leander Moons Inc - Brooklyn

partner - OMT architects GmbH - Berlin

poor and would prefer a conventional build house. At

the same time climate change is happening and we

need to start building more climate friendly. Combine

that with the rapid population growth on the African

continent and the already existing shortage of housing

in most African cities and it becomes clear that the place

where we can make the biggest contribution to both

society and our environment is Africa. Over the past

years we have combined research and experience from

all over the world and reviewed what would make the

most sense in relation to the East-African context. We

looked into different species of wood (what can we in

the future supply from local sustainable forestry) and

various timber building systems. We have implemented

different solutions for different projects and developed

them to allow for affordable and equitable products

which can compete with conventional built buildings in

price. Needless to say, that in a humid tropical context

the interior climate in an engineered timber building is a

lot higher than the climate of a conventional ‘wet-build’


AS: What do you believe to have been your biggest

business success over the years?

LM: Our biggest success is that we are able to create

sustainable timber housing with units starting from

10.000 USD. We aim to create housing solutions for a far

greater part of the African society than regular project

developers are currently providing. Therefore, learning

from our projects and optimizing them with our local

partners to create equitable and affordable houses shows

that our vision can become reality, currently in small

scale in Zanzibar, but hopefully in the future on a larger

scale on the continent. This is only possible when we

include the local community in our projects and when

we optimize the use of local recourses. This enhances the

local value chain and empowers the local population.

AS: How is your firm balancing local solutions for a

sustainable world and deliver innovative design for

every project?


November-December issue l 2022 31


LM: I personally have been privileged to live in many different

places and to encounter many different cultures and societies. This

experience has been an eye-opener when it comes to my work as an

architect. Living in the similar places and in a similar social context

limits our ability to think outside of the box, it limits innovation. I try

to bring this mindset into every new project and look to extend the

teams and companies to work with to get as many different angles

as possible. On our projects we currently work with people from 5

different continents and many different countries and backgrounds.

With all these different opinions we aim to design optimized

structures together with the local parties. Their take, from the local

parties, on all these different ideas from the international team is –

and must be – leading in the decision-making process. Through this

process we can not only combine innovation with local solutions for

the projects at hand but also give a clear indication how to develop

local industrial production processes.

AS: What direction do you see the firm taking in the next ten

year, if you had to guess?

LM: | We are committed to grow the use of sustainable building

solutions especially in the place where this matters most; Africa.

We know that we cannot do this alone, but I hope we can inspire

through our visions and projects others to start doing the same. I thus

hope that in ten years’ time we will no longer be considered pioneers

and instead became another mainstream architectural company

building timber housing.

AS: Your advice for aspiring architects/firms, what is the most

challenging part of creating a successful practice?

LM: In my lectures I often include a sheet stating the following:

“best practice ≠ innovation” and “innovation = risk”. Many architects

these days use the words ‘innovation’ and ‘best practice’ in a single

sentence, if you want to be successful though you will need to

commit to one of both; building your office and architecture around

a best practice approach: optimizing the existing, or take the risk of

an innovative approach. Since most developers are risk-averse (they

want to maximize return of investment) the best-practice approach

is mainstream. It is not a coincidence that the building industry is

often considered as the least innovative industry. For those who are

following the innovative path, like we do, my advice is to stay true to

your vision, are not afraid to make mistakes and do not take anything

for granted. Innovation needs time, failure and perseverance to

eventually happen.


Representing a young, vibrant and most of all sustainable

lifestyle, the building will allocate a mixture of studio,

1- and 2-bedroom apartments. Like all other apartments

the penthouses on the top floors of the tower will offer

extraordinary views towards ocean, city and island. Throughout

the building amenity and commercial spaces offer additional

value to residents and visitors alike. The green and sustainable

design concept combined with a well-balanced apartment mix

and amenity spaces contribute to an ever-evolving character of

the tower, combining mundane trends with local culture. ‘BURJ

zanzibar’ will become one of the island’s iconic new addresses.

All images are courtesy of OMT Architects

INNOVATIVE | The innovative layout of the tower allows

for highly flexible and adaptable apartment solutions. All

apartments, reaching from small studios to vast 2-bedroom

penthouses, are based on the same modular layout. Through

this design approach apartments of different layouts and sizes

can be allocated throughout all floors with maximum flexibility.

In addition to the increased flexibility this concept will also

contribute to an optimized construction time and enhanced

finished qualities.

A similar modular approach has been applied to the design

of the shell of the building. Utilizing only three types of

modules a playful facade has been created by alternating and

changing module depth and function. At the same time the

facade addresses the local climate by providing permanent

sun shading. The enclosed loggias and balconies contribute to

the private character of the apartment’s interior. These outdoor

spaces can be transformed into planter boxes but could also be

included in the apartment by implementing a panorama window.

This innovative and flexible architectural concept allows for

32 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


limited and most of the remaining waste can be recycled effectively.

The modular facade concept follows the same approach and as such

adds to the simplicity and cost-effective concept of the tower. At

the same time the modular yet playful facade creates permanent

sun shading for all apartments minimizing heat gain. Finally, the

inclusion of planting not only significantly reduces storm water

impact, but also contributes to a pleasant interior climate.

individual solutions to accommodate the resident’s lifestyle related to

their cultural backgrounds, family sizes and different stages of life. The

design will create diversity in use and occupation: ‘BURJ zanzibar’ as a

vertical green village.

EXPRESSIVE | ‘BURJ zanzibar’ and its remarkable and vivid

architecture will become one of Zanzibar City’s new landmarks. The

white plaster will help to reduce heat gain, while the gold-anodized

windows will contribute to the high finished qualities. The roof

gardens and planted balconies will enhance the green nature of

the tower while blending in with the local climate and surrounding.

Residents can have their own outdoor garden even when living on the

27th floor! The expressive yet playful design of the facade contributes

to a greater level of privacy on the interior as most high-rise

residential projects. The possibilities to set an individual note by the

integration of room extension, planters or even a panorama window

truly set ‘BURJ zanzibar’ apart.

SUSTAINABLE | The structural concept of the tower is founded on

an optimized grid from eight-by-eight meters and subdivided for

the apartment and facade layout into steps of four meters. The core

includes all vertical circulation and means of egress for the tower.

Risers and shafts are located centrally and run without transfers

close to the core of the tower over its complete height. Multiple

structural systems could be applied, from conventional concrete up to

a hybrid timber system. Build in hybrid-timber ‘BURJ zanzibar’ would

be the first in Africa. The hybrid timber approach would reduce the

ecological footprint of the building whilst enhancing the climate

within the interior. The reduced weight of the structure would also

have a positive effect on the foundation. As most components can be

prefabricated also the amount of waste produced during the process is

ICONIC | The design of ‘BURJ zanzibar’ directly relates to its young,

vibrant and sustainable residents. The elegant tower is placed on

a terraced podium allowing for shared and private gardens and

outdoor spaces on the lower levels. Green pockets integrated in

the façade create the impression of plants growing up towards the

rejuvenating top of the tower. The setbacks on the upper most floors

enhance the green experience whilst also contributing to the elegant

silhouette of the building. The green roof gardens and planted

balconies allow for the integration of nature to reflect a sustainable

lifestyle and help to reduce the carbon footprint of the building. The

alternating facade concept represents the vibrant character of the

project and Zanzibar as one of the most beloved destinations in the

World. Most importantly this Icon will create flexible and sustainable

living qualities to the highest standards for its residents.


FLEXIBLE | The tower is envisioned as a highly adaptable and

flexible vertical village within an optimized effective structural

system. The clear and repetitive framework creates the opportunity

to integrate multiple different apartments not only in terms of their

size - number of bedrooms - but also regarding their orientation and

vertical location within the tower.

The studio apartments, starting from 22 square meters living area,

offer a generous room with build-in pantry kitchen and bathroom.

The studio apartments in the podium of the building are designed

to allow an increased living area up to 42 square meters, combined

with stunning views. Some of these podium studio apartments come

with private gardens.

The 1-bedroom apartments combine the area of two studio

apartments and start at 42 square meter living area. The living and

dining space is well dimensioned and features an open kitchen

layout. The bedroom has access to a private balcony and ensuite

bathroom. The corner apartments allow for an increased living area

up to 60 square meters combined with amazing views towards the


The 2-bedroom apartments evolve around a spacious living and

dining area with grand kitchen. The central room allows for flexible

layouts and the optional panorama windows and room extensions

create individual design solutions for each resident. Balconies and

planters grant the bedrooms with a private and intimate character

even if located on the upper most floors.

The penthouse apartments are located on the top floors of the

tower. They offer extraordinary all-around-views over Zanzibar and

the Indian Ocean. In addition to the unique views these apartments

are designed with an increased living area to enhance the living

qualities even further. The apartments located at the setback levels

come with a well elevated private garden and optional infinity pool,

a unique feature!


November-December issue l 2022 33


CONVENIENT | The entrance to the tower is located at the main entry

plaza. Adjacent to the entrance commercial units allow for retail and

hospitality functions. An open stair in the double story entrance hall

connects directly up to the commercial space on the first floor. These

spaces on ground and first floor could offer both public and residentrestricted

amenities. On top of the podium structure a vast outdoor

garden with terraces and an infinity pool creates a unique outdoor

space with a stunning ocean view. On this level also the majority of the

amenity spaces for the residents are located. A clear organized central

elevator core provides access to all floors of the building.


DIVERSE | The three-dimensional character of the facade is created

by the implementation of alternating extruded pods on all sides of the

tower. These pods describe the spatial divisions on the tower’s interior

and at the same time provide permanent sun shading to minimize

heat gain for every apartment within the building. A simple setback on

every second floor contributes to the lively impression of the facade

and the tower.

The design intent of the facade is to provide a framework for every

apartment, from studio up to penthouse, to create its own unique

character. The individual ability to configure and use the exterior

space as an extension of the interior living space is a key feature in

the facade concept. Several options have been created to be included

into the design as per the clients and/or residents requests. These

reach from the extension of the living area combined with the

integration of a panorama window, to the integration of a planter onto

the balcony or an opaque window element. At the same time these

created opportunities for individual configurations do lead to a greater

diversity of the appearance of the building. Green pockets, panorama

windows, balconies and even roof-pools contribute to the iconic future

presence of the tower on Zanzibar.

GREEN | Nature has been incorporated as an integral element in the

building. The biophilic design approach will allow for direct contact

with nature even on the highest floors of the tower. Planters and roof

gardens create a green screen filtering the air and enhancing views

from the apartments. The soil and plants harvest the rainwater and

help to reduce the risks of flooding. Most of all the green atmosphere

of the tower increases the quality of living for the residents and their


There is no structural limit to the use of engineered timber elements

even in high-rise buildings. The limiting factor currently is the

combustible character of the material. Worldwide code requirements

are subject to change at this moment to increase the use of timber

elements in construction. Research and many build examples have

shown that with advanced calculation methods the characteristics

of the material and engineered timber products when exposed to

fire can be determined and sized to fit building integration. The

engineering team on ‘BURJ zanzibar’ includes several stakeholders

driving the international research and developments in this field.

Their knowledge, combined with the experience of the local

authorities, will contribute to the creation of guidelines not only for

this project but also for many future projects to follow.

QUALITY | Engineered timber products fulfil the highest quality

standards as they are produced within an optimized factory settings.

Their rapid assembly on site is comparable to steel structures

and characterized by a vast amount of prefabrication off-site. This

prefabrication process in a controlled environment also significantly

reduces the amount of waste produced in comparison to a

conventional building site. The high quality of the surface of exposed

timber elements not only creates high-quality internal space but

also omits the requirement for additional cladding or plastering.

The timber elements allow for a high grade of recycling options for

future generations.

‘BURJ zanzibar’ is planned as a hybrid-timber tower. The steel

reinforced concrete core allows for fire and life safety standards to

meet all current code requirements. The structure around the central

core is assembled with glue laminated columns and beams as well as

cross laminated slabs. The interior of the apartments benefits from

the natural look of exposed timber elements to add to the living

quality. ‘BURJ zanzibar’ will become a new landmark for Zanzibar

and beyond not only because of its appearance but even more so

because if its construction method. The building will promote the

local available wood as the building material of the future and draw

attention towards a more sustainable construction while offering

living conditions to the highest standards.


ENGINEERED TIMBER | Wood, the oldest building material, is the

most sustainable building material. Wood sequestrates carbon while

steel and reinforced concrete causing carbon emissions in their

production process. Sustainable forestry and the application of wooden

materials contribute to a better climate.

Although wood itself has been used throughout history of mankind,

engineered timber products entered the market only recently.

Innovation in production process and applications of these new timber

products are disrupting the conventional construction business and

are allowing for more advanced sustainable buildings. Moreover, wood

and sustainable forestry have a vast presence in the East-African


34 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


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Despite low investment,

geospatial technologies

prove an essential driver of

development in Africa

By Maina Waruru

Despite low government investment

and a lack of legal framework

to guide their use, geospatial

technologies are being applied in a wide

range of fields across Africa, and are proving

to be indispensable tools in the socioeconomic

development of the continent,

according to a recent conference on the topic.

The fifth edition of the Regional Centre for

Mapping of Resources for Development

(RCMRD) International Conference was

held online and in-person in Nairobi, Kenya

between 6-8 September 2022 and explored

the theme of ‘Earth observation services for

resilient social systems’.

“Geospatial technologies are critical in

building resilient social systems and even

more important, in making evidencebased

decisions for the attainment of the

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),”

Emmanuel Nkurunziza, director-general

of the RCMRD, tells Equal Times from the

organisation’s base in Nairobi.

The term broadly refers to the state-of-theart

tools used to collect, store and analyse

geographic information. These technologies

include remote sensing, global positioning

systems and geographical information

systems, and are being deployed in a variety

of areas – from humanitarian relief to

agriculture and urban planning – to carry

out tasks such as the mapping of forests,

lakes and other sensitive ecosystems

for biodiversity monitoring, disaster risk

reduction and disaster management.

Where laws allow the use of civilian

unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known

as drones, they are being used in agriculture

to spray pesticides on farms and rangelands,

one example being the recent locust invasion

in the Horn of Africa. In addition, they have

proved useful in the delivery of essential

supplies such as medicine in remote areas

and in generating critical scientific data

during disasters to support evidence-based

decision making.

“We have witnessed different challenges

as a region, including the recent floods [in

Sudan, Malawi, South Africa, and since the

conference took place, Nigeria]. We have had

problems of drought affecting food security

and triggering water scarcity, and we are

seeing growing urban population pressures.

All of these challenges call on us to intensify

our ability to monitor the Earth so that we are

able to develop mitigation strategies,” says

Nkurunziza, as well as improve the efficient

delivery of services for the betterment of

Africa’s 1.4 billion people.

Crucial and accurate data

Exploring seven thematic areas such as geoinnovation

in health, and smart and green

cities, over 600 conference attendees heard

about the successes and lessons in the use of

Earth observation technologies. For example,

in the area of forest governance, the use

of applications in two forest observatories

dedicated to monitoring the ecosystems of

southern and central Africa are providing

crucial real-time data to help in improved

management of the forests, according to

Robert Nasi, director-general of the Centre for

International Forestry Research (CIFOR) based

in Bogor, Indonesia.

One of the observatories is the East and

Southern Africa Forest Observatory OFESA,

which provides information on trends and

threats to forests in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania,

Mozambique and Uganda for better decisionmaking

management of forest ecosystems.

Led by CIFOR and RCMRD, and funded by the

European Union, the initiative is developing

a governance framework which will allow

participating countries to share, use and

analyse data to address common issues, such

36 November-December issue l 2022 www.africasurveyorsonline.com


An aerial view of long horns cows in Central Equatoria, Terekeka, South Sudan. Geospatial technology, such as drones, can help generate critical scientific data to

support evidence-based decision making. (AFP/Eric Lafforgue/Hans Lucas)

as deforestation and human encroachment.

“One of the main challenges emerging

amongst forestry institutions is the lack of

updated data, which calls for efforts to update

that which already exists. At OFESA we are

addressing these capacity gaps as well as

supporting the development of a governance

framework for data sharing,” says Douglas

Bwire, a research officer at CIFOR.

Data collected under OFESA will be shared

with governments and organisations

protecting forests, through regular state of

forests reports. This was in acknowledgement

of the fact that without accurate data,

monitoring the ecological, environmental

and social aspects of wooded areas for

conservation is not possible, Bwire admits.

An even bigger initiative is Digital Earth

Africa (DE Africa). “DE Africa is empowering

countries across Africa with Earth

observations to enable climate adaptation

and mitigation, greater food security, and

sustainable development,” Kenneth Mubea,

DE Africa’s capacity development lead tells

Equal Times. Anyone, both in the private or

public sector or civil society, can use the data

generated, as long as it is for development


Its partners include the Nigeria-based African

Region Institute for Geospatial Information

Science and Technology (AFRIGIST), the

Agriculture, Hydrology, Meteorology

(AGRHYMET) research centre based in Niger,

the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS)

based in Tunisia, and the RCMRD, amongst

other regional bodies.

“We have created a huge impact, and stories

by end users are abound. For example, we

have supported the mapping mangroves

initiative [in Zanzibar, Tanzania], the

relocation of giraffes from a lake-flooded

island in Lake Baringo, Kenya, and we are

offering free training,” Mubea explains.

The platform offers online training to help

users explore and visualise available datasets.

This includes weekly sessions hosted in

English and French where users are guided

on the various uses and applications of Earth

observation in their daily work.

A driver for development

The conference also highlighted some of the

issues facing the widescale deployment of

geospatial technologies in Africa. One is low

investment. As well as a lack of familiarity

with such technologies by those who hold

the purse strings in government, there is

also the issue of scarce resources and a lack

of capacity to maintain and grow the use of

these technologies.

A 2019 report by the Africa Regional Data

Cube (ARDC), a project on satellite imagery

and Earth observation data in five African

countries , gives a good sense of some of

these challenges. For example, the report

notes that it takes “4-6 months of discussions

with stakeholders to establish an institutional

framework and buy-in from key stakeholders

to invest time and staff resources to adopting

the ARDC”. But many other organisations and

initiatives do not have the time or resources

to dedicate to this consistent level of

engagement and lobbying.

It also noted that, a significant amount of

time needs to be invested in “getting users

comfortable with the technology, so they fully

understand what it is, what information it can

provide, and how to access and use it”.

Another issue that can hamper the

widespread use of geospatial technologies

in Africa is the absence of regulations. One

of the victims of this is Fahari Aviation, a

subsidiary of Kenya Airways. While its drones

were widely deployed in aerial mapping,

agriculture, land survey, transport and

aviation, the company found it difficult to

expand beyond the Kenyan borders, owing to

a lack of regulation in member countries of

the East African Community (EAC), of which

Kenya is a founder member. This is despite

the fact that the company has partnered with

global aerospace giant Boeing to introduce

UAVs for aircraft inspection and maintenance.

“As we are all aware, data accuracy is a

major issue across Africa and an obstacle

to planning. This can be easily remedied by

deploying Earth observation science. From

experience we know that drone technology

allows for unmatched accuracy,” says Fahari

Aviation general manager Hawkins Musili.

However, until better regulation and more

money is put into the sector, its benefits will

remain limited on the continent.


November-December issue l 2022 37


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