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Kenyan firms spending up to Sh10mn to beef up security – Report

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 12- Kenya’s private sector has enhanced their investment in security by adopting a myriad of measures that include training staff on what to do in case of an incident.

According to a new report by the Kenya Private Sector titled “Understanding the Impact of Violent Extremism on Kenya’s Private Sector,” average businesses across Nairobi, Garissa and Mombasa Counties are spending more than Sh300,000 to mitigate Violent Extremism incidents.

According to the report, investors are spending more in Nairobi than in Garissa and Mombasa, with medium-businesses using more money on achieving better security than the large ones.

In Nairobi, the estimated expenditure incurred in mitigation against violent extremism is slightly higher than half a million at the minimum rate while the highest amount is Sh10 million.

However, the maximum amount in Garissa is a whopping Sh50 million due to its proximity to Somalia, the breeding ground for the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militants.

“The study found that 37 percent of the businesses covered by the study across the three Counties had been involved in CVE activities,” reads the report.

Such businesses, the report established that they have partnered with security agencies on Counter Violent Extremism activities.

KEPSA Chief Executive Officer Carole Kariuki who spoke to Capital News at the sidelines of the event on Tuesday said this has however not increased the cost of business.

But she went ahead to challenge her counterparts to invest in mitigating measures rather than waiting for an incident, after which they end up spending more- this could increase the cost of business.

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“We want to make sure that we work on the preventive measures so that it doesn’t get worse,” she said.

This, she said will include increasing their partnership with the National Security agencies that will include training of their staff and security guards manning their facilities and intelligence sharing.

Director of the National Counter Terrorism Centre Ambassador Dr. Martin Kimani said the Government is keen on ensuring on the private sector has the ability to either thwart an imminent attack more so after the 14 Riverside drive attack that claimed 21 lives.

Director of the National Counter Terrorism Centre Ambassador Dr. Martin Kimani

“Our response is to strengthen and upgrade our own responsiveness to the threat. We are working very closely with malls, hotels…we want everyone to be alert,” he said.

To avert future attacks, he said businesses must insist on knowing people they are dealing with.

During the launch, various stakeholders called for a seamless way of sharing intelligence among other things.

The report recommends private sector players to invest in viable insurance schemes that can cushion them against losses that could be incurred if a violent extremism incident occurs within their locations of operations.

They have also been challenged to develop internal training mechanisms aimed at gradually building the capacity of their local staff in a bid to deal with such eventualities.

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