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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid