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Head Office

Background

The ChemObs Africa Project is a chemicals and waste project implemented by United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and executed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Africa Institute. The project is implemented in 9 countries, namely Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  Africa Institute is the EA for Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and WHO AFRO is the EA for Gabon, Madagascar, Mali and Senegal.

Background

The overall goal of the project is to contribute to improved health and environment through strengthening national and regional institutions to implement priority chemicals and waste-related interventions. In Kenya, the project is implemented by Ministry of Environment and Forestry in collaboration with the Ministry of Health is implementing a project.  Oversite and guidance in the implementation of the project is offered by a national steering committee comprising of key government ministries and agencies, NGOs and the private sector.

The Chemicals Observatory

The project proposes to develop a prototype of national integrated health and environment

observatory, including a core set of indicators enabling data aggregation, to provide timely and evidence-based information to predict, prevent and reduce chemicals risk to human health and the environment. It is envisaged that the observatory will contribute to better identification of causal pathways of key pollution challenges and development of better risk management strategies through improved legislation, new regulations, effective enforcement, licensing, environmental clean-up, or educating impacted communities.

The Project Steering Committee has proposed that the chemicals observatory be linked with the chemicals portal that is under development.  The portal will have chemicals information including chemical imports and export data, links to other chemical data bases, information of emerging chemicals issues and chemicals toxicology data.

Kenya has a poison centre that is managed by the Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK) in collaboration with Kenyatta National Hospital. However, the poison centre information and contacts are not available online since the centre is operated through a toll-free line. The project steering committee has therefore proposed that the details of the poison centre be linked to the chemical’s portal and observatory. The details will include poison centre contacts, data on number of reported chemicals incidences and locations. This data will be very instrumental in the surveillance of areas with high chemicals risks and taking the necessary measures by the relevant institutions

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