The United States has donated 40,000 facemasks to the Border Police Unit (BPU) to help them maintain a healthy and effective force during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The size of the donation was made possible through funding by the Department of State’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Programme and this would see BPU protect all of their personnel with facemasks as they secure Kenya’s borders, and also enable officers to distribute facemasks to Kenyans without the protective gear that they meet on their patrols.
U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter said the donation is the latest demonstration of USA Marafiki and the long-standing commitment of the United States to help Kenya preserve and maintain both its physical security and public health.
Each of the locally produced USA Marafiki facemasks comes in packaging printed with public health information to help educate Kenyans about how to protect themselves from Covid-19.
Made in Kenya, by Kenyans, the donation will also support the Kenyan economy in this time of economic hardship through the creation of jobs, said McCarter.
He noted that the United States would continue to look for ways to support Kenyan solutions to the pandemic, as well as protect Kenyan jobs alongside the health of the Kenyan people.
Speaking at the handover event in Nairobi, Ambassador McCarter said: “The Covid-19 crisis reminds us all of the importance of establishing and maintaining secure borders.
He said that the Border Police Unit has been a valuable and an enthusiastic partner of the United States, and supporting them in their critical role of securing Kenya’s borders was key.
“We hope these facemasks will help the BPU strengthen the bonds they have formed with the people they protect and serve while supporting the health of Kenyans living in border areas,” said the envoy.
Deputy Inspector General Noor Gabow said that the United States has been a valuable partner of Kenya and a firm supporter of the BPU in the fight against terrorism.
“Now that we face another common enemy in the coronavirus, we welcome the support of our friend and partner in helping us protect and serve the Kenyan people,” said Gabow.
By Wangari Ndirangu