Dakar is populated by about 4 million inhabitants and lacks large public green spaces. In the heart of the city, however, lies a protected area called La Grande Niaye de Pikine et Dépendance. This area is the green heart of Dakar and provides a refuge for multiple species of flora and fauna. Protecting, is essential for the biodiversity in West Africa and for the wellbeing of the people living in the city.
Our crowddroner Adja Aminata captured part of this reserve with her drone. You can see how this area is green, with lots of water and some minor agricultural activities. Ecologically, it contributes to maintaining biodiversity. It also provides a natural habitat to multiple birds and is an important migratory station where 239 different species of birds reproduce annually. It also helps the attenuation of inundation effects, enhances water quality in the city, and recycles organic and chemical substances in the water bodies. Most importantly, it is an important CO2 natural capturing organism and helps to depollute the air of Dakar.
Protecting green areas in cities is vital for both the local communities and the environment. Local authorities must increase the spread of green areas in cities, plant more trees, and monitor the status of the existing parks to maintain them. Using drones to provide high resolution earth observation imagery is very helpful as it allows scanning these areas regularly, identifying any problems that might arise, and quickly highlighting the areas at risk so the local authorities can interfere and help out.