Many countries across Africa have legislated lockdown regulations that, among others, restrict the movement of people with the hope of reducing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Kenya and Rwanda are no different. However, the two East African countries have taken things a step further by using drones to enforce lockdown regulations and catch those that violate them.

This comes as police in both countries have said that they have observed that some people have tried to disobey the COVID-19 regulations with regards to the restriction of movement. Added to this, in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, some drones are being fitted with loudspeakers to broadcast messages regarding the virus and regulations.

Police in Kigali, Rwanda attaching a loudspeaker to a drone that will be used to alert people of the COVID-19 regulations.

“People have been moving in and out of the metropolitan area using motorbikes through ‘panya’ routes. But their tricks have hit a dead end because we are now able to monitor every route. Several people are in custody and will be charged with  flouting health rules. There are good citizens who are heeding the government directives but there are others who are devising crooked ways to dodge the police and get in or out of the restricted areas. Kenyans must understand that we have to work together, everyone plays their role so as to suppress the virus," Sergeant Lameck Maragia who was in charge of a roadblock in Thika, Kenya is reported to have said.

Although police in both countries set up regular roadblocks to check that those moving around have the required permission to do so during the COVID-19 lockdown, some people are said to be using routes that they know are not easy for police to set up roadblocks on. As such, this has led to police resorting to using drones to monitor such routes to nab those violating lockdown regulations.

“Drones are flying in areas where checkpoints are not mounted and where patrols could not be there. Just stay at home. That’s what we are enforcing,” said John Bosco Kabera, Rwanda's, police spokesman.


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