By:Ekashiva Raja Adilah, Captain Eng.
CBRN Engineering Company Comande
7th Regional Basic Training Course On Emergency Response To Chemical Incidents For Asian States Parties organized by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in Kathmandu-Nepal from April 8th to 14th 2018, aims to provide basic training for OPCW member countries to know what is the dangers of agendas and chemical weapons and to know the procedures for the implementation of Emergency Management Accident Hazards or Chemical Weapons attacks. While the purpose of this basic training course is held so that participants can gain knowledge about the hazards of the agencies and chemical weapons, so that they can be applied in their country of origin in terms of danger precautions of agensia and chemical weapons and handling procedures in case of emergency hazard mitigation.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an organization in charge of chemical hazard handling problems in the world especially for its member countries. Currently membership in the OPCW has covered 97% of the world’s State, only 4 countries in the world are not yet members of this organization namely, Israel, North Korea, Egypt and South Sudan. OPCW has several scope of tasks including: 1) Chemical disarmament and destruction of waste or chemical chemical agents / materials; 2) Examination of the chemical industry especially the manufacture of chemicals for war; 3) International Cooperation by coordinating several organizations and Countries to overcome the danger of chemical weapons; 4) Assistance and Protection against the threat of Chemical Weapons for Member States.
As the world organization that handles the handling of the threat of chemical weapons has organized the 7th National Basic Training Course On Emergency Response To Chemical Incidents For Asian States Parties since 2011. The training activities organized by the OPCW are divided into some areas such as Europe, America, Africa and Asian, and currently being held in Nepal as one of OPCW member states are the seventh year.
The course, which be jointly organised by the Government of Nepal and the Technical Secretariat (hereinafter “the Secretariat”), is related to capacity-building for national and regional emergency response within the framework of Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention (hereinafter “the Convention”), and provide training for up to 20 participants in planning and building a support team for civil protection, civil defence, and decontamination operations in contaminated areas, as well as in appropriate responses and countermeasures in the event of incidents involving chemical warfare agents or toxic industrial chemicals. It also gave an overview of what kind of assistance the OPCW, the host country, and Member States in Asia can provide, and assist participating Member States in establishing a basic capability in protection from chemical weapons, which directly benefit their civilian populations.
The course offer a basic introduction to the use of protective equipment and monitoring, detection, and decontamination techniques. Participants completing the basic course acquire general knowledge of chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals, and knowledge and understanding of the use of individual protective equipment, equipment for detection and decontamination, and medical countermeasures. The course facilitate the exchange of information and experiences regarding the implementation of Article X of the Convention and provide a forum for the discussion of future cooperation among participating Member States and what further assistance they might make to the OPCW under Article X.
Some of the activities held on this course include several methods; a. Receive Presentation in Class. To receive materials on knowledge of Agents & Chemical Weapons as well as emergency response procedures against the threat of accidental use of chemicals and the threat of chemical weapons; b. Practice field. Conducting activities outside the classroom to obtain the ability to use chemical detection equipment, wear and remove clothes and protective equipment, and implement reporting procedures and emergency response actions from the threat of accidents use of chemicals and chemical weapons; c. Group discussion. Carry out group discussions to discuss our role in advising how to set up operational standards for rapid handling of chemical weapons incident at national and regional levels that assistance might make to the OPCW under Article X.
OPCW has a new program called RRAM (Rapid Response and Assistance Mission), this program has been proposed 10 years ago to be implemented but only can be done since 2015. This program is a mission / task of assistance and quick reaction given by OPCW for member countries who ask for help due to chemical chemical accident / chemical waste accident incident. Request for assistance by a Member State to the OPCW will be immediately processed according to the procedure and expected within 1×24 hours after the request is sent to the OPCW, the RRAM team may be sent.
Tasks undertaken by the RRAM (Rapid Response and Assistance Mission) team:
- Suggest how to save and isolate areas that have been contaminated by chemical hazards and how to prevent the spread of the chemical agent’s effects.
2) Implement Detection of the presence and type or characteristics of chemical agents used by means of detection carried by the RRAM team.
3) Take samples in the field according to OPCW procedures.
4) Recommend the implementation of decontamination procedures.
5) Suggests procedures for handling victims.
6) Suggests safeguard and monitoring efforts on the development of contaminated area expansion.
7) Suggest how the location of the site’s safe procedure is contaminated.
8) Suggests the need for the next degree of detection equipment / equipment, protection or decontamination.
9) Facilitate the help that comes from volunteers and other world organizations and UN organizations.
It is expected that this RRAM program will be able to help all OPCW member countries to get help handling the threat of danger of chemical weapon attacks and threats from production accidents as well as the rapid transfer of hazardous chemicals