By Gabriel-Eddie Njoroge
The Government of Kenya, through the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), has from 20th May adopted four newly redefined fundamental units of measurement.
The International System of Units (SIU) that include kilogram (kg); ampere (A); kelvin (K) and mole (mol), that was elected on 16th November,2018 during the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles.
The date of implementation was specifically chosen because it is the anniversary of the signature of the Metre convention, celebrated as the World’s Metrology Day annually,
The government of Kenya, through the Cabinet Secretary of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Peter Munya, has pledged its support for full implementation of these changes as it recognizes the central role of measurements and its applications, referred to as metrology and its importance in the realization of Vision 2030.
This is due to the fact that the government uses these standards as the basis of sector regulations. This therefore, demands of manufacturers, traders and service providers that they ensure that their products and services meet specified requirements and deliver on customer expectations.
As a result, the government has promised to provide full functional and quality infrastructure together with an equipped national metrology department at KEBS to enable the harnessing of the opportunities and benefits of the science of measurement for promoting and sustaining economic growth in conjunction with environmental and social wellbeing.
These changes will ensure an end to the reliance on physical objects of precision measurements for accuracy. There now will be an ability to replicate the unit of measurement through the use of electric current, in the process, reducing the dependency on others for standardization of measurements.
Great attention will be paid to ensure that the new definitions will be compatible with the current ones at the time the change is implemented, in as much that the future impact of the changes will be far reaching. The changes will not be noticeable to any but the most demanding users but they do mean that there may be changes in the way traceability is consequently established.
To ensure harmonization of the operation of instruments used to make measurements, the global work will be continued by the experts, to ensure that trade, industry and consumers will not notice any difference to the weights, lengths and other measures they use.
These changes will help achieve a collective goal of the “metric system” that has been used to provide universality of access to the agreed basis for worldwide measurement which in turn, will provide the basis for future innovations in measurements that will allow the definitions of the second, the metre, the ampere and the kelvin to take advantage of atomic and quantum phenomena to achieve levels of accuracy limited only by the capacity to observe them.