Ethel Pondelani - Malawi
African Drone and Data Academy Students
Ethel is a chemical engineer graduate from the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST). In her last year of school, she participated in the global undergraduate exchange programme and went to the Michigan State University where she studied Engineering Technology and management for a semester.
After graduation, she Interned at Illovo Sugar Malawi in the quality control department and laboratory where she was responsible for quality control of sugar during processing.
Ethel learned about drones at a UNICEF workshop that she attended at a side event during the opening of the drone corridor in Kasungu district.
“I got very interested in drones at this workshop so when I heard about the African Drone and Data Academy, I applied,” says Ethel.
Ethel has learned how to build drones, the aerodynamics of drones and entrepreneurship. She is interested in the Water and Sanitation Sector and is currently working on a project to provide clean drinking water to people living in rural areas. She is exploring how she can use locally made ceramics/clay soils to provide clean and safe water to rural communities.
Once she leaves ADDA, she plans to use drones to map out places in rural areas that have no or little access to clean drinking water and good sanitation facilities. This map will be used to inform organizations and institutions planning to invest in water and sanitation in such areas. It will also help to increase access to clean water to the more than 3,100 children who currently die every year in Malawi due to waterborne diarrheal diseases because of lack of access to clean water.
In addition, she would also like to build drones using low cost locally available materials to reduce the price of drones and allow may people to have access to use this technology.