The Kenyan Program on Chemical Safety and Security - Phase 1

Project Background

The Kenyan Program on Chemical Safety and Security - Phase 1, financed by Norway, was the project to develop and sustain a program on chemical safety and security in chemical activities in Kenya (The Kenyan program).

What is Kenyan program about?

To assist Kenya to create a national potential for chemical safety and security for the on-going and future peaceful uses of chemistry and for structural/infrastructure projects. It will also provide assistance in the implementation of international efforts to counter terrorism using chemical weapons or toxic chemicals.

The project has been initiated in 2011 by the International Centre of Chemical Safety and Security,  (ICCSS) and the Kenyan partners as a public-private initiative, and followed by an active support and the participation from the following core international stakeholders: Centre for International Trade and Security, Dow Chemicals, AT Kearney and TNO /the Netherlands/. The intention was to broaden the project to other Eastern African countries.

Why it was needed?

Although Kenya has developed chemical management programs within the framework of SAICM initiative of UNEP, and ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Chemical Convention and supported relevant UNSCR Resolution, including UNSCR 1540 (2004), those efforts have occurred not comprehensive enough due to a multi-faceted and multi stakeholder nature of chemical safety and security risks and challenges nationally and regionally. The issues such as sealing the borders, chemicals in transit emergency response to road accidents, management of expired chemicals, chemicals in education, security of the supply chain, trade control, all require organized and coordinated effort and material assistance, in tailoring legal regulations and adapting best practices. Thanked the Government of Norway which provided the financial grant, the Kenyan Project was implemented  to respond to these challenges.

Why this project was unique

For the first time a project of such scale is given clear ownership to the Kenyan Stakeholders. The group of international stakeholders, coordinated by the ICCSS, can assist and ensure the continuity, but it is the Kenyan side that has the clear responsibility of developing the project. A group of international stakeholders does not impose or offer ready solutions on the Kenyan stakeholders. In this project we are constantly learning from each other and identifying the needs of Kenya. We are not trying to impose a “one-size-fits-all” solution. We apply a multi-stakeholder approach, where all the relevant partners bring their relevant experience and capabilities.

The project is based on the principles of sustainability, continuity and modern management and implements them in practice 

A second issue is the fact that thus far, there hasn’t been such wide participation of international stakeholders in a project of such scale. In this project we have stakeholders from Government, Industry, NGOs and Academia. Each of them can bring unique expertise and experience. Until now, this approach has worked very well and allowed also to align the incentives of all stakeholders.

Ownership of the project

Throughout 2012 until 2014 the concept has been further developed and the ICCSS was requested to serve as a core partner and the coordinator of the Kenyan Program. It was agreed that the program on chemical safety and security in chemical activities in Kenya will be based on the principles of sustainability, continuity and modern management and on the basis of public-private partnership.

The Program, owned by the Kenyan authorities, provides a broad platform for the engagement of all the relevant stakeholders, development and introduction of the legal and administrative provisions, and technical support in the implementation. It also promotes the development of effective measures in prevention, preparedness and response against misuse of toxic chemicals. The program will involve all stakeholders, including governments, international organizations, research centers and industry.

Project Objectives

The aim is the project was knowledge transfer  to improve security of chemicals in particular  with regard to Chemical Weapons Convention requirements and safety and security of  road transport of dangerous chemicals  and management of across the border traffic of chemicals

Based on the project Feasibility Study which provided an inventory of the (specific) needs in the areas of border control, customs, and transport of chemicals, the following objectives were agreed:
1. To develop a concept of the training curriculum and plan of activities for the training of border, customs and law enforcement officials  
2. Conduct of training of customs officials;
3. Conduct of training of border security officials
4. Development of the awareness and responsibility program for local authorities on chemical safety and security;
5. Conduct outreach to the relevant branches of government, industry, academia and NGO’s.

Outcomes of the Phase 1

The implmentation of the program exceeded the initial plan. The curriculum, in a form of a handbook,  responding to the need of rising security of the borders and observation of international treaties and domestic needs as well as the needs identified in analysing  road transport safety has been developed and offerred to Kenyan parters. The handbook was compiled from the lectures and other teaching material, edited and published.  Publishing the handbook exceeded the initial plan. Is was assessed that it shall help sustaining the results, disseminating material knowledge, further dissemianting the program ideas and promote chemical safety and security culture. The project was promoted internationally on OPCW and G7 Global Partnership forum. The African Forum of chemical safety and security has been yet another not initially planned initiative. Although this initiative had no time to mature during  project's duration, it is belived to expand the project's impact. In overall the Kenyan program received a major international attention and support as an innovative program to assist a developing country to introduce chemical safety and security in the most relevant area of activity. The concrete outcomes included:
1. Confirmation of relevance and primary importance of effective controls of toxic and restricted chemicals in transit (border and customs controls) and transportation for introducing chemical safety and security, thus raising national security.
2. Development of training  platform for reviewing existing procedures and capacities to enhance chemical safety and security, mitigate the risks of chemical attacks by terrorists; to identify the responsibilities, roles and capabilities of the different national stakeholders that are part of the response mechanisms. The training programme following the curriculum was carried out and resulted in certifying 31 students as trainers competent in teaching the peers thus providing sustainability and dissemianting the results.
3. Introduction and development of the horizontal cooperation between the relevant Kenyan partners and bringing the implementation  of the relevant national and international obligations to grass-root level, the Kenyan practitioners.
4. National network of experts was developed to assist in monitoring chemicals in transit, border control and trafficking and education and awareness, depending on further developments and available funding opportunities.

Project Leader

Amb. Krzysztof Paturej
President of the Board

Project Documents: