Those who have travelled to Kenya spend a lot of time in the Jomo Kenyatta airport. You land there late at night and you take off late at night so your view is limited but his was the scene this week Interesting to me is the fact that this fire that shut down the airport which is a main travel hub for all of Africa and an export hub for Kenyan products took place on the 15th anniversary of the bombings of the embassy in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, in neighboring Tanzania. No terror connection to the fire was immediately evident, but the blaze revived long-standing safety concerns about Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.Kenya’s anti-terror police boss, Boniface Mwaniki, said he was waiting for more information before completely ruling out terrorism.
No U.S. carriers fly direct to Nairobi. Delta Air Lines, based in Atlanta, tried to open such a route in 2009, but the Transportation Security Administration rejected the plan because of security concerns.
Nairobi County does not have a single working fire engine, the Daily Nation, a Nairobi newspaper, reported last month. One engine, the paper said, was auctioned in 2009 because the county had not paid a $100 repair bill.
Nairobi is the capital of East Africa’s largest economy, but public-sector services such as police and fire departments are hobbled by small budgets, corrupt money managers and outdated equipment or a complete lack of equipment.
A top government official at the scene of the fire said an initial assessment shows that a complacent response helped a small fire grow into an uncontrollable conflagration.
Some airport fire engines were not filled with water and others did not have personnel to drive them, said the official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to release details of an ongoing investigation.
Inbound flights were diverted to the coastal city of Mombasa, he said.
Other flights were diverted to Dar es Salaam, the Kenyan cities of Eldoret and Kisumu and Entebbe, Uganda, according to Kenya’s Red Cross.
Kenya Airways, the country’s flagship carrier, diverted five flights to Mombasa and said all of its passengers in transit were being moved to hotels. The airline reported that one passenger and one employee suffered from smoke inhalation.
There was some thought that this was an attack by Al-Shabaab militants. Kenya has been fighting a nasty little war with the militants from Somalia for some years now.
So this is the fastest growing economy in Africa right now. Our partners are working through all sorts of issues regarding wealth development in the mist of poverty and troubles in the countryside. Our Project 24 Centers are undergoing some reorganization and supply problems and like all partnerships we have to keep the communications open and functioning. Pleaser remember Project 24 in prayer and with your continued support.