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Travel With Us to Zimbabwe — IAEA International Conference on Nuclear Security: Commitments and Actions

1 December 2016
Enhancing detection capabilities at the Victoria Falls border crossing provides confidence to people visiting Zimbabwe that measures are in place to prevent disruption caused by radioactive materials and helps to protect the local environment."Nuclear security is an enabler," explains Justin Mupamhanga, Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet. "We realize the number of applications where nuclear technology is key.""Nuclear security measures, like detection at points of entry and exit, ensure that materials cannot be taken to non-peaceful uses and offers people the ability to visit our parks and wildlife destinations."Detection capability, including procedures and equipment, is only successful with full stakeholder engagement. Officials from nine organizations, including the Ministry of Defence, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, the Radiation Protection Authority and with support from the IAEA, work to strengthen procedures for collective action should nuclear or other radioactive material be detected at Zimbabwe’s borders.At the Victoria Falls International Airport, officials test a scenario in which radioactive material is smuggled into the country.Once the material is detected, they have to seamlessly deploy the equipment and test the responsiveness of their plan.This enables Zimbabwe to determine the best standard operating procedures for a multi-agency response.Using detection equipment like radionuclide identification devices and gamma spectrometers enables Zimbabwe to better tackle illicit trafficking or any inadvertent movement of material.As part of its Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plan, Zimbabwe is committed to strengthening its national framework related to radiation detection to secure its borders.“Without a detection capability in place, when handling goods and processing people we are dealing with an unknown risk,” says Reward Severa, Head of the Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe.“We are living in a global village. Whether people come to visit Victoria Falls or bring their vegetables to market, we need to take every necessary precaution.”Local vendors and tourists cross the border from Zambia on foot. Like the airport, this point of entry is of strategic importance for tourism and trade in south-east Africa.“Nuclear security enables communities to co-exist,” adds Severa."Detection capabilities increase confidence that Zimbabwe is a secure tourist destination and a viable trading partner.”By ensuring that equipment is in the right hands and by trying and testing processes in the field, officials demonstrate the strength of Zimbabwe’s national detection capabilities. Validating standard operating procedures helps minimize the risk posed by material out of regulatory control and illustrates Zimbabwe’s commitment to nuclear security to the benefit of tourism and trade.All photos were taken from 8 to 16 October 2016
Special thanks to: Office of the President and Cabinet, the Radiation Protection Authority, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.
From the IAEA: Noor Fitriah Bakri, Nuclear Security Officer, Division of Nuclear Security
Very Special thanks to: Mr Justin Hugh Mupamhanga - Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Mr Reward Severa - CEO Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe (RPAZ) and Dr. Miza Mohamed, Senior Assistant Director of Customs, The Royal Malaysian Customs Department.

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