Luckily, his inherent fascination for drone use in construction quickly shifted to disaster response, and Deogratius set to work on creating a baseline network of maps to be utilized for disaster relief and humanitarian/development efforts. OpenStreetMap Uganda was founded 2012 to promote community mapping in response to natural disasters, foster development, and train the next generation of Ugandans on open participatory mapping and drone technology.
Disasters are not uncommon in Uganda, leaving many rural communities helpless in the wake of large-scale weather events. As 84% of the Ugandan population lives in rural areas and 20% live below the poverty line, they are especially vulnerable to sweeping environmental risks–including drought, flooding, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanoes. In particular, the increase of flash flooding due to a combination of land use practices and climate change is of significant concern.