SPOTLIGHT | Water quality in Mali

Underwater drones for water testing


Launching a drone into the waters of the Niger - not something we do everyday. Yet a few weeks ago, programme manager Titia Wouters visited Mali and did just that. Personally! Watch the video of the launch below.

The project which launched the drone is focused on water quality of the river Niger, and it will monitor the quality through the use of Akvo Caddisfly, and the aforementioned Indymo underwater drone. Caddisfly uses a sensor which collects physico-chemical and bacteriological pollution indicators from the water, is connected to a smartphone app and can be used from the side of a boat. With the Indymo drone, more difficult-to-reach spots are also monitored, such as the inside of drain pipes and the edges of the shore.

Prior to the launch of the drone, the local team received training on how to work with it, and Indymo left the team with instruction videos as well.
The project not only focuses on assembling new data on water; alongside the launch of the drone,
a website was also launched which collects data from different organisations. This makes the data and analyses accessible to a larger audience, contributing in itself to better awareness about the current water quality situation and possible implications for the future.

Project owner for the project is Dr. Baba N’diaye from ABFN (Agence du Bassin Fleuve Niger), a man who is a great inspiration for his co-workers because of his openness and willingness to share. For ABFN, this is a prestigious project, being able to work in an international consortium on such innovative and new practices. The team is extremely proud of the project for this reason, and everyone is eager to get on board - literally!

Baba and Titia were interviewed by several tv- and radio stations. You can watch one of the interviews below (in French):

​More information on the project can be found on the project page, and on the Climatescan website (also the source of the opening photo).

​You can find our previous SPOTLIGHTS here and here