Joint UNDAC environmental assessment mission to Kenya
By reneechristensen on 15 Aug 2013
Nairobi, 15 August 2013 – At the request of the Government of Kenya, a United Nations expert team has today arrived in Nairobi to study the potential environmental impacts of the massive fire that engulfed the arrivals terminal of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last week.
In particular, the team will:
conduct an environmental assessment of the impacts of the fire, including sampling and analysis to determine the possible effects of fire residues and extinguishing agents on the environment;
provide support to authorities in managing environmental aspects of the clean-up operation, notably with regard to the possible presence of asbestos and disaster waste management;
identify key safety aspects to be considered in the establishment of temporary airport management arrangements;
provide recommendations for managing environmental impacts of the airport fire, including linkage of relevant national and airport policies, guidelines and airport contingency planning.
The team of experts has been mobilized through a partnership of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), known as the Joint Environment Unit, based in Geneva. Domains of expertise of team members include disaster management, environmental assessment, sampling and waste management, fire fighting, chemistry, and airport logistics. Team members hail from Denmark, the Gambia, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The mission is expected to be in Nairobi for one week. A full report on the findings of the expert team will be published upon completion of the mission.
Photo source: Joint UNEP/OCHA Envirnment Unit