20 April 2021. The Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe and the Software Company Ltd. have successfully completed the training on the use of the Information Tracking System to monitor the transportation of radioactive materials within and across national borders. It took two women – Gabriela from the city of Rousse, Bulgaria and Nokuthula from Harare, Zimbabwe to fine-tune a preliminary two-day training for two IT specialists, a full five-day training course for 10 experts and a live demonstration with a vehicle on a 50 km-long test route.
Since the global health pandemic and the inability to travel continue to hinder the implementation of the trainings in person, the Software Company ensured more learning time to counteract the lack of face-to-face communication. During the preliminary training, the two IT specialists installed the software on the trackers, connected the trackers to the GSM network and to the Information Tracking System, installed the mobile application on the phones and created accounts for the cohort of trainees.
The trainees gathered from 12 through 16 April in a conference room with uninterrupted internet where the Zoom-meeting was screened to a large TV display. The 10 participants were able to check in advance a tool kit elaborated by the Software Company as well as to download the presentations for the trainings, and to familiarize themselves with the information and videos from the past ITS trainings, conducted in person in Zambia and Tanzania and available from a special website: https://sadcproject.novotika.com/
Gabriela and Nokuthula have also set the scene for the live demonstration with a vehicle on the 5th day of the training. A route was predefined around Harare for the test drive with 3 stop points with accurate exact geographical coordinates. The trainees followed the vehicle in real-time and mimicked a real shipment along the 50-km long route.
A sneak peek at the correspondence between Gabriela and Nokuthula speaks a volume about the spirit of cooperation that made their joint endeavour so successful:
“Dear Nokuthula, thank you very much for the coordination of the training, it was a pleasure for us to conduct it. We believe it went very smooth, and we hope to assist you in further implementation. As an attachment, I am sending the certificates for all participants; please distribute them accordingly.In the next weeks, we will send you thorough instructions on how to set up the accounts and use the real server in TAEC, Tanzania.”
“Dear Gabriela, on behalf of my country, Zimbabwe, the Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe, the CEO, Mr Justice Chipuru, the participants and myself, I would like to thank you all for the continued support. The training was successful, and we benefited greatly from it. We look forward to the implementation stage. Regards”.
The Information Tracking System (ITS) – a key component of the ISTC-implemented Project Support to Southern African States in Nuclear Safety and Safeguards – is conceived as a common web-based platform for data exchange and monitoring the transportation of Uranium Ore Concentrate and other radioactive materials within and across the borders of several southern African states. Since 2020, the ITS has already been used by relevant national entities in South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. In 2021, Mozambique, DR Congo, Zimbabwe, and Madagascar will join the network.