The major challenges in the countries in Central and Eastern Africa in terms of radiation and nuclear risk mitigation are related to the safe management of radioactive sources that are growing in circulation. The protection of the environment, the workers and the general public against the related risks has thus to be regulated and implemented properly. That is why the EU-funded CBRN Project P-60 helps the government agencies and industries involved to achieve the necessary levels of quality, reliability and experience.
In some of the countries, like Kenya, this started already several years ago. One of the institutions concerned is the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the government statutory body with mandate to carry out metrology, standards, testing and certification services. In line with this mandate, KEBS conducted a workshop on “Radiation Safety and Nuclear Security” from 26 November to 7 December 2018, at Mombasa town, in Kenya. The workshop assembled middle level managers, shift operators, operating technicians and security supervisors in medical and industrial facilities. The workshop was attended by about 100 professionals from various sectors – industrial, medical, biomedical engineers, researchers, technologist, security, police and others.
Participants in the workshop exchanged views on threat assessment, reporting on accidents and feedback, ensuring physical security of facilities with radioactive materials that commensurate with risk evaluation and other topics. They visited Radiation Protection and Safety site in a marine engineering company and carried out a Joint Table Top Exercise on radiological incident response.
“Young professionals have a crucial role to play in … the protection of people, society and the environment in Africa.”, stated in his letter to the participants ISTC Executive Director David Cleave, adding that ”With its focus on strengthening the nuclear security in the region of East and Central Africa through improved regulation, training, capacity and awareness, Project 60 is well positioned to offer a valuable contribution to the growing collaborative efforts of national and international stakeholders in the nuclear field in the region”. The KEBS organizers expressed a recognition for “the indispensable role played by International Science Technology Center in promoting peaceful and safe use of radiation application”. At the closure of the workshop the Mombasa County Chief Officer of Health awarded the certificates of attendance to the participants.