The Ethiopian Mapping Agency (EMA) said that it will install some 100 Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORSs) that will provide satellite navigation systems capabilities across the country.
Sultan Mohamed, director general of EMA, told reporters at a capacity building close out workshop on Thursday that adequate budget has been set aside to install the CORSs across the country each station having 70 to 100km radius. According to Sultan, installation costs for each of the CORSs require some four million birr. Hence, some 400 million birr budget is expected to be channeled to the project.
Previously, four CORSs have been installed by the financial support of the USAID in Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Jimma and Gondar.
These stations were meant to provide modern four dimensional geocentric spatial reference systems to the users. However, the statements both the USAID and EMA have made indicated that three out of the four CORSs have been obsolete for most of the time. Sultan said the stations were not properly functioning due to power interruptions, lack of proper internet connectivity and the like. USAID pledged to extend technical and financial supports to rehabilitate the stations so that they will operate nonstop.
Installed and established back in 2007, the four reference stations though outmoded, connect the country to the global and regional satellite networks. They feed data into the international Terrestrial Reference System and African Geodetic Reference Frame. The data transmitted by the reference stations is also being used for aerial photography.
According to Stephen Morin, director of economic growth and trade office at the USIAD, since 2005 USAID has been assisting the government of Ethiopia to have a systematic rural land administration activity.
Since then three land administration projects have been evolved in the country, where the Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) is the latest program running since 2013, Morin recalled. The government intends to survey 30 million rural parcels in the coming three to five years, Morin said.