At the induction of Members yesterday, Emmanual Narakobi, a young PNG entrepreneur and founder of Masalai Communications, proposed the use of drone technology to refine and economise service delivery mechanisms throughout the country.
“The basic idea is that you have a device that can fly at a low cost over good distances. So it can be used to transporting small things like medical supplies, test results or even using video technology for surveillance,” said Mr Narakobi.
Mr Narakobi acknowledged that the roads were a major problem in the country but encouraged Members of Parliament to consider other options instead of waiting on the government.
“Infrastructure has always been a big problem that we all need and hope that the government will solve for us, but in between that, there are always alternatives that we can take to tackle those problems,” said Mr Narakobi.
“Instead of fueling up an aero plane, you can do it quite cheaply with drones. The applications are quite diverse, especially for Papua New Guinea, with the type of geography that we have and the terrain, we can achieve a lot of things immediately with drones.
There are a lot of social and development applications of the technology apart from video,” he said
Drone technology, though relatively new to PNG; has been available to the rest of the world since the early 2000s. Drones are already being used across the globe in a variety of different applications, such as delivery of packages and medical supplies, mapping and surveillance.
The application of drone technology would be especially pertinent in aiding in the delivery of learning materials to schools in remote areas of PNG, where transportations costs alone are currently eating up over half of their annual school budgets.
“Opportunities come when we have challenges and thankfully PNG has a lot of challenges, which means that we also have a lot of opportunities.
It’s really just about looking at the problems you’re trying to solve and asking the right questions,” Mr Narakobi said. Post Courier