Young women being trained for underwater monitoring

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Young women from Indigenous communities are being trained by the Guyana Marine Conservation Society under an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) programme to monitor underwater ecosystems.

The drone unit was started under the Global Environment Facility Small Grant project to aid the development of the Barima Mora mangrove passage goals. The young women were already trained to use aerial drones and are now undergoing similar training for the remote operated vehicles for underwater use, Sarah Singh, the Project Administration and Communications Officer told the News Room.

The project is called securing the future of the Barima Mora mangrove passage and ecosystems and its people.

The team setting up the remote operated vehicle for underwater use (Photo: The Guyana Marine Conservation Society)

This particular programme has seen the young women being trained to use aerial drones and now they are practicing the remote control vehicles in the water.

“Once the girls were deemed okay to fly the aerial drones independently we decided to take it a step further with the underwater drones. That’s why they are here now to practice before hey head back into the communities to use the drones,” Singh said.

The project has three components that focus on sensitization using multimedia tools to raise awareness about the natural resources in the environment and how to protect it; training persons to protect and maintain the environment; and create a baseline after measuring the blue carbon in the area.

The second component listed is the development of alternative livelihood activities which include the training of persons in a wiri wiri pepper project in Region One where groups of women plant and harvest the peppers.

Other livelihood initiatives include the Barima Mora drones unit and a bee-keeping project using the black mangroves in the ecosystem. There is also the Imbotery research centre located at Imbotero in the Barima-Mora Passage Area (BMPA), which also provides jobs for persons living in there.

Team leader for the drones unit, Shakira Yipsam said she is excited to learn more about technology and using the skills attained to train persons in her community.

“The takeaway for me is that being the first girls’ drone unit we are not only using aerial but underwater also. It is exciting because I am excited to go off the Pomeroon and explore,” she said.

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