NUC benefits from GIS training


- receives laptops from UNMEER

July 22, 2015 By Alusine Sesay

The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) has conducted a two-day Geographic Information System (GIS) training for some 50 participants, including lecturers and students of the Njala University College (NUC), Mokonde campus in the Bo District.

Also, 25 laptop computers were donated to the Geography and Development Studies Department of the college to equip the already established GIS laboratory.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Joseph M. Macarthy, who acted as the chairman, underscored the importance of GIS technology which he said was widely used by government, private institutions and in academia to model the world.

He said the technology was a useful tool used in geographic research as well as town and city planning, and that most of the courses offered at the university – including conservation, survey and geography – required GIS knowledge.

He said the university was highly constrained since the use of GIS technology was growing relevant and that UNMEER took a landmark decision to make Njala University a recipient of laptop computers to build the capacity and strengthen development in the country.

He thanked UNMEER for what he referred to as their contribution in the fight against Ebola, adding that the focus of the training was to ensure how new learners would use GIS skills in their courses.

Director of the Institute of Geography and Development Studies, Dr. Victor T.S. Kabba, noted that he felt fulfilled that the country could only benefit from its natural resources with the efficient use of GIS technology.

He acknowledged the support given by UNMEER in making his dream to establish GIS at the college a reality.

Acting Vice Chancellor of NUC, Professor R. Ndomayina, said the training was a welcome relief not only to the university but the country as a whole.

He described GIS as an important tool used in development and that the laboratory would service not only the Geography Department but also other departments at the university.

Yewondwossen Assefa from UNMEER expressed joy over the conduct of the training and highlighted some of the contributions of the organisation in the fight against Ebola.

A lecturer from the Biological Sciences Department noted that the training was the first ever conducted for both lecturers and students at Njala University, and that it was an eye opener, thus calling on UNMEER to continue to provide more training of such nature.