Wally Saine, a Mechanical Engineering student at the GTTI, has recently completed his diploma. Saine who was required to work on a project for the award of a National Diploma during his final year at GTTI, decided to make a device that will assist farmers control bird (pests) invasion on cereal farms such as coos, millet and rice. According to Saine, the device is a bird scaring machine that farmers can use to scare birds from their fields.
‘‘I made two devices namely. One is a solar powered audible bird scaring device and a mechanical one. These two devices are designed to control bird pest invasion and they are very effective in scaring birds away from farms,’’ Saine told this medium.
Saine continued that the solar powered audible bird scare, emits a predator’s sound that would actually scare the birds away and the mechanical bird scare; that this is less expensive to develop and easily affordable; that it is driven by wind and it emits a sound disturbing sound that scares the birds, eventually leading to their dispersal from an area.
‘‘I tested both devices and the results were positive. The rice farmers were very happy to see the birds driven away by the devices,’’ he said. ‘‘I therefore, request from Government to assist the farmers in the country, by providing them with bird scaring devices such as these ones I made. With such a device, food sustainability for the farming community will be very much enhanced and farmers will be encouraged to cultivate more hectares of land,’’ he said.
‘‘I request from Government to support the Engineering students in the country because many of them are willing to invent creative ideas but are unable to do so because of financial constraints and proper education. I appeal from Government to assist me further my education at least to the level of a degree in engineering. The problem of animal pests has long been a natural disaster in The Gambia and this has been given renewed emphasis in past years. Birds especially Red-billed Quelea and village weavers, inflict substantial losses on rice production in the Gambia. Moreover, aside from the direct economic impact, bird damage also has substantial social consequences. On the one hand, farmers who scare birds in the field are socially separated from their families for a longer periods of time. On the other hand, traditional bird scaring is frequently undertaken by children who sometimes miss school. This jeopardizes meeting key education objectives such as universal primary enrolment.