Today I received an email from
“Lee O. Cherry of the African Scientific Institute (www.asi-org.net)” <email@example.com>
Nigeria Launches Two Satellites
Abuja, Aug 17 (PTI) Determined to firm up its drive towards technological advancement, especially in relation to Information Communications Technology (ICT), Nigeria today launched two observation satellites into the orbit to be used for disaster management, with President Goodluck Jonathan describing the move as another milestone in his country’s effort to solve national problems through space technology.
The construction and launch of the satellites cost Nigeria N17.42 billion.
Both satellites were built at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) in Guildford, UK, under contract with the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA). NigeriaSat-X was constructed through an SSTL training and development programme at SSTL in Guildford. In total, 26 Nigerian engineers participated in the project, working on the satellite for 18 months throughout the design and test phases. The NigeriaSat-X offers 22 m multi-spectral GSD across a 600 km swath width.
Dr. S. O. Mohammed, the head of NASRDA, commented: “NigeriaSat-2 will significantly boost African capabilities for remote sensing applications, specifically for natural resource management.
The highly agile NigeriaSat-2 is based on the latest SSTL 300 platform and will deliver multiple viewing modes to a maximum 2.5 m panchromatic (black and white) ground sample distance (GSD) and 5 m multispectral (colour) GSD across a 20 km swath width.
As for almost 3 decades I am involved in humanitarian aid, I was really shocked by this announcement and therefore posted the following note on my Facebook :
“Nigeria is one of the countries we always wanted to help, e.g. for the Nigerian part of the Great Green Wall. Our objective was to help the poor population of Northern Nigeria to decent food. Today we received an article announcing that Nigeria launched two satellites. Shall we continue to combat hunger and poverty in Nigeria ?”
My friend Laura KIDD replied :
“I have found that this is a common problem in many poor countries, the governments prioritise investment in so called ‘progress’ rather than looking after their populations “
On which I said :
“Yes, but … they continue to ask financial support for combating hunger and malnutrition of their poor children who are so proud with their 2 satellites.”
And she to go on :
“It’s crazy … not easy to decide to continue to give help under these circumstances. It’s a bit like Kenya renting out their land cheap to countries like China and the US to produce food to export back to these foreign countries … whilst the country is receiving huge amounts of food aid to feed their starving populations from Europe each year … completely contradictory situation!”
How many starving children could be saved with N17.42 billion ?
Anyone to add some views to this ?
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