Kenya launches regional center to combat CBRN threats

2021-12-02 17:55:44 GMT2021-12-03 01:55:44(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NAIROBI, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Thursday launched a regional center that seeks to combat the threat posed by improper use of nuclear and chemical materials.

Francis Kuria, director of public health, Ministry of Health told journalists in Nairobi that the regional secretariat for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) risk mitigation center for Eastern and Central Africa will offer support to regional governments in reducing risks related to incidents of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear origins, whether they are due to criminal, accidental or natural hazards.

"The center will promote cooperation in the prevention, detection and response to unauthorized access, theft, illegal transfer, or illicit trafficking in CBRN materials across borders," Kuria said. The regional center will be hosted by the Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Authority (KNRA).

The partner states include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Ghana, Malawi and Zambia.

Kuria observed that CBRN security-related incidents are increasing in frequency and intensity around the world and hence the need to develop and implement risk mitigation strategies at national, regional and international levels.

Joseph Maina, director-general of KNRA and head of the regional secretariat said that in the past decade there has been a marked increase in the peaceful and beneficial use of CBRN materials in many socio-economic sectors.

"However, these materials have now become attractive targets by non-state actors for non-peaceful uses including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, acts of extremism and terror as well as environmental degradation," Maina added.

He revealed that the CBRN platform is expected to make significant and positive changes in security, human health, food security, environmental management, the industry as well as nuclear energy. Enditem