szkolenie strażaków w Kenii
szkolenie strażaków w Kenii

Since 2014, the Polish Centre for International Aid (PCPM) has supported the development and professionalization of the Kenya Fire And Rescue Services.This is the largest Polish development aid project in East Africa.

The PCPM has supported the development and professionalization of the Kenya Fire And Rescue Services. Thanks to our efforts, the country now has 71 fire stations, up from 26, and more than 1,500 firefighters, up from 450. PCPM has trained almost 60 percent of Kenya’s firefighting personnel.

Development of the Kenya Fire And Rescue Services

Polish aid has been at the forefront of systemic change by providing fire department personnel with the country’s first-ever opportunity to obtain professional certifications. Polish experts developed a program of certified specialized training and a system of recognition of professional qualifications for firefighters in Kenya, which is unique in the country’s education system.

“Creating firefighting structures in Kenya is a task spread over years, but the results of our work are quickly becoming apparent. Since 2016, we have been sending instructors from Poland to Kenya, who have so far conducted classes at various fire stations around the country. With the opening of the center in Kiambu, we can increase the number of trained firefighters and the effectiveness of training. Ultimately, we want this place to also be used by emergency services from neighboring countries – Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia or Tanzania”

PhD Wojtek Wilk CEO of the Polish International Aid Center Foundation

For the first time in the history of Kenya, thanks to the creation and implementation of a national system of certified training and recognition of professional qualifications, 103 people earned  diplomas with the professional title of firefighter. This formal title boosts the professionalism of firefighters, provides better career opportunities, enhances safety of the local community, and puts Kenya in line with international standards in professional education and specialized rescue services.

One of the most important elements of official professional certification is the final state examinations recognized and conducted by specific institutions in Kenya. Hence, in cooperation with local and national authorities, the PCPM Foundation has created a complete examination system for the firefighting profession. At PCPM’s request, project partner Kiambu County signed an official cooperation agreement with one of the most important vocational education institutions in Kenya – the Nyeri National Polytechnic (NNP). The agreement covered the Kiambu Fire and Rescue Training Center, built by PCPM.

Road accident response system

The Mombasa-Nairobi-Uganda road is an East African transportation corridor and is notorious for its high number of road accidents. Until recently, almost half of the Mombasa-Nairobi Expressway was not served by any  road accident response services, and accident victims lacked specialized care.

To improve the situation, PCPM built two fire stations, the first one in Makueni County in the period 2021 – 2022, and the second one in Machakos County in 2022 – 2023, opened in October 2023. Thus, the distance to reach the accident decreased from 235 km to 55 km, and the services can now reach the injured within an hour. Rescuers arrive at the accidents faster, which reduces the number of fatalities and allows injured people to reach medical facilities faster. Since the handover of the fire station, the staff carried out 25 road traffic accidents rescue operations, 7 firefighting operations and 1 drowning rescue operation. The increase in safety levels also attracted private investors. A local hospital was built in the area in 2023, and long-suspended works on the tourist and hotel complex were finally completed.

This is the largest Polish development project in East Africa. In the years 2021-2023, the activities were financed by the Polish Aid program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland. PCPM’s annual budget for activities in Kenya accounts for approximately  PLN 1.5 million. In total, since 2014 PCPM has implemented projects in Kenya worth approximately  PLN 14 million.