Good Morning to you all,
Thank you for inviting me to be part of this important occasion today and to launch the Vanuatu Drone Trial Report and celebrate success and results of drone based delivery of last mile services,
In June 2017, the COM made a decision, endorsing transportation of medical supplies with the use of remotely piloted aerial systems commonly known as drones. The project was then launched in Parliament on 14 June 2017 by the Minister of Health witnessed by all 52 Members of Parliament.
During the first phase of the drone trials in December 2017, drones took off from the old Takara airstrip, North Efate flying over the $offshore islands of Emao, Pele and Nguna to drop off package at a cordoned off area at Siviri returning to land at Takara.
The second phase of the trial was made in December 2018 to transport vaccines to health facilities on three selected islands: Pentecost, Erromango and Epi and the Shepherds Islands.
The use of innovated technologies such as drones to facilitates delivery of services in a mountain logged islands and remote villages is one the central key policies of Government today.
Vanuatu National Sustainable Development Plan 2030: "The People's Plan " sets out a national vision for a stable, sustainable and prosperous Vanuatu and demands new innovative way of thinking about addressing our development challenges and opportunities.
Indeed, under the society policy objective 3.4 it calls for a need to build health sector capacity and system to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of quality services at large.
At this stage we realise the potential for wider use of the drones, with urgent medical supplies delivered and redistributed across health facilities according to needs on-ground. We also realized that it is an opportunity to build capacity of our medical nurse who administered the services of drones.
I noted that trial concluded in March 2019 and the results demonstrated that the drone-based transport is technically and culturally viable in Vanuatu. Thank you all media outlets which covered extensively the stories of the trials and gave considerable visibility to Vanuatu and the progress we made to use drones to deliver medicals supplies to remote islands.
Vanuatu Government acknowledged the support of the Vanuatu DRones Team led by the Ministr of Health with close support by civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu ( CAAV) . I also want to thank the UNICEF for providing technical assistance and funding, and sourced significant contributions from the Australian Government and the Global Fund to support this initiative.
The trial was facilitated by multiple arms of Government and i Want to seize the this opportunity to express government's utmost appreciation to you all.
We are here today to launch the report of this milestone work. The report discusses a multitude of lessons learned and recommendations that may be useful to informing the next phase.
For those who will participate in this afternoon workshop, I wish you all a fruitful discussion as you deliberate on the next steps. I do hope that the lessons learnt to date will help you to design a sustainable and more practical solutions for Vanuatu on how to use drones more effectively and efficient.
On that note, ladies and gentlemen, I have the pleasure today to officially launch the Vanuatu Drone Trial report.