Geothermal Development Company (GDC) on Wednesday 14th October 2020 participated in the East Africa Conference on Occupational Safety and Health (EACOSH) focusing on the geothermal sector. The virtual conference was hosted by Geothermal Association of Kenya (GAK) in collaboration with Kipya Africa Limited and was officially opened by the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection Eng. Peter Tum.
Eng. Peter Tum, thanked Geothermal Association of Kenya (GAK) for organizing the conference, for members to share lessons on the importance of Safety particularly during the COVID-19 period. He called upon the employers to invest more on safety. “Health workers are the back bone of an organization” The PS added.
GDC Regional Manager Central Rift and Vice Chair of the GAK Mr. Paul Ngugi, who represented GDC MD & CEO Eng. Jared O. Othieno in the meeting, shared the mitigation measures GDC has implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the work place.
“GDC has a COVID-19 response steering committee which was constituted to integrate the input of different functions across the company and it enabled rapid implementation of immediate control measures to address emerging risks,” noted Mr. Ngugi.
On the control of the COVID-19 spread, Mr. Ngugi said GDC has adopted the guidelines received from the Ministry of Health and confirmed that sensitization is done through virtual meetings.
Mr. Ngugi echoed that higher levels of hygiene have been promoted through installation of hand wash stations, provision of alcohol-based sanitizers and regular fumigation of office premises.
Mr. Ngugi also thanked the Country’s security organs in government and the county governments for working closely with GDC to ensure that the Company’s operations continued smoothly during the period when there was cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area.
Initially, EACOSH was to take place in March 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EACOSH aims to provide a platform for deliberations on policies, best practices regarding Occupational Safety and Health in the geothermal sector towards a vision of zero accidents. EACOSH conference 2020 has been realigned into a three-part series under the theme “Investing in Safety in the face of COVID-19 for a Sustainable Geothermal Industry” anchored on three main pillars: Policy, Technology and Finance.
The virtual conference meeting was attended by more than eighty five (85) participants, among them Mr. Gabriel Wetangula, GDC Manager Safety, Health and Environment.