Chinese firm Nanjing Les Information Technology has won a $5 million contract to install an integrated urban surveillance system (IUSS) project in the Kenyan city of Nairobi.
The project is planned to be completed by February 2013, a senior Kenyan official disclosed on Tuesday, according to a Baku-APA report.
Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Jamleck Kamau said the security surveillance equipment is planned to help monitor traffic and thwart potential terrorist attacks in the city.
“The system will enable live streaming of video from different areas of the city as well as record and store video for later viewing,” Kamau reportedly told journalists in Nairobi. “The system is of an open architecture which means it will enable scaling up later and connection of existing and/or any other private entities.”
The minister said the system could even capture speeding vehicles’ number plate details in the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD).
Phase one of the project is expected to be installed at 51 traffic lights and crime spots within the CBD.
Kamau said Nanjing Les Information Technologies won the tender among 27 firms which had applied and returned the forms on the grounds of technical capacity and better pricing ($5 million).
In May this year it was announced that Kenya would soon begin installing close-circuit television cameras across the country, starting with the capital Nairobi, after receiving a $100 million grant from China.
“We are going to start the installation almost immediately,” Prime Minister Raila Odinga told Kenya’s parliament at the time. “And this is going to spread to other cities, Mombasa is next, then Kisumu and other cities.”
He said that Kenya had received a US$100 million grant from China for the project, and that the goal is to stop terrorism and improve security.
Nairobi blames Somali-based al Shabaab militants for cross-border raids and kidnappings that have threatened the country’s multi-million dollar tourism industry. Since Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year, militants have threatened reprisals if Kenyan troops do not withdraw.
“The country is at the moment facing a lot of security challenges arising from the operation in Somalia,” Odinga said. “With Al Shabaab’s capability to wage conventional warfare completely degraded, the militia has resorted to guerrilla tactics. This includes the use of grenades, improvised explosive devices and sporadic shootings to attack business premises, security forces and members of the public.”