News / Africa

Kenyan Airport to Resume Full Operations Friday

Kenya Airways and government officials address a joint news conference after a huge fire left all flights suspended at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, Aug. 7, 2013.
Kenya Airways and government officials address a joint news conference after a huge fire left all flights suspended at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, Aug. 7, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
The Kenyan government says the international airport in Nairobi will reopen to all airlines Friday, following a major fire that shut down operations. The cause of the fire is still to be determined.
 
Kenya’s cabinet secretary for transport, Michael Kamau, told reporters Thursday that all flights will resume as normal in and out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after midnight. “We are back on our feet.  Anybody who knows Kenyans, we are very, very resilient, that is known the world over; we are not afraid of competition, it is healthy, we are up, we are running.”
 
Most flights were grounded Wednesday after a fire that began in the immigration section of the arrivals terminal gutted the building, causing a massive disruption at East Africa’s busiest transport hub.

Maintaining security

Since then, airport officials have allowed some international flights to come in through the domestic terminal. Kamau said extra security agents have been deployed to ensure that normal security procedures are maintained.

The transport secretary said investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire which broke out before dawn.
 
“We’ve cordoned off the area now. We are receiving assistance in the investigations from other agencies, international agencies, because we intend to carry out a full investigation on what happened yesterday. So that is ongoing,” said Kamau.
 
While the government has asked the public not to speculate on the cause of the fire, Kenya’s newspapers have their own theories. The Daily Nation on Thursday ran a one-word front-page headline that read: “Sabotage?”
 
The media also has been critical of the city’s fire services, which have struggled for years to get more funding for equipment and manpower.

Lingering questions

The secretary-general of Kenya’s National Fire Brigades Association, Francis Omolo Liech, questioned why the fire crew stationed at the airport, with five fire engines, was not able to bring it under control sooner.“If the response could have been proper, and with enough manpower, with five fire engines, I think the inferno could have been contained even before the Nairobi fire brigade arrived."
 
U.S. President Barack Obama called President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday to offer support to Kenya following the fire.
 
The Kenyan government says East African leaders also called to offer the use of their countries' airports.
 
Some Nairobi-bound flights were diverted Wednesday to Uganda and Rwanda, and to other cities in Kenya.
 
Jomo Kenyatta International is a major transit place for flights through East Africa, and services some five million passengers each year.
 
The government says it will build a temporary structure to accommodate passengers as the burned out terminals are renovated. They also plan to fast-track the completion of a new terminal that is currently under construction and slated to open in March 2014.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid