The European Union (EU) has granted Kenya specialized equipment worth KSh32 million to enhance the country capability to respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) incidents arising from intentional, accidental or natural causes.
On Tuesday the Principal Secretary for Health, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri received the donation by the EU that will boost the national CBRN response plan.
A response team of 20 drawn from major response institutions has already been trained on the use of the equipment with support from the EU.
“Today’s function is a demonstration of our good partnership with the EU on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response. Our collaboration has so far resulted in the implementation of five projects aimed at enhancing CBRN risk mitigation efforts,” said Health Principal Secretary.
The PS lauded the EU for the support and revealed that Kenya hosts the Eastern and Central Africa regional Secretariat CBRN Center of Excellence. There are only eight such Centers in the world.
The CBRN Centers of Excellence is an initiative of EU, jointly implemented by the United National Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute and the European Commission Joint Research Center. The aim is to create regional and national initiatives dedicated to improving national policies and international cooperation in CBRN risk mitigation.
The countries served by the Nairobi Secretariat are Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, Dr, Muraguri said.
The EU Representative Jean Pierre said that EU will continue to work with Kenya and other governments in the region to mitigate any chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risk to protect their citizens. “The partnership between Kenya and the EU is very strong and we look forward to expanding our relationship,” he stated.
Regional Secretariats are used by the member states to share information; assess national needs and develop national action plans, which are used respective countries to identify priority areas for development of project proposals on CBRN risk mitigation, with support from the EU Development Cooperation and other development partners.
Kenya hosted the first regional meeting for CBRN stakeholders in January 2012, bringing together 20 countries from Eastern, Central and Western Africa regions. During the meeting, the countries received a report on the illicit trafficking of CBRN materials in the region.
Source: Ministry of Health