Hawking, parking on roadsides banned ahead of Naivasha rally

Forty-four entrants and more than 200,000 spectators expected for the global event

In Summary

• Rally cars to be flagged off from KICC on Thursday; event ends on Sunday in Hells Gate National Park.

WRC Safari Rally winner Sébastien Ogier in action during last year's Safari Rally
RALLY: WRC Safari Rally winner Sébastien Ogier in action during last year's Safari Rally
Image: FILE

Organisers of the World Rally Championship have banned hawking and parking private cars along roads in Naivasha.

A day before the event begins on Thursday, organisers said this year's rally would be better than last year's even, with more participants, spectators and bigger cars.

WRC Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi said everything was set for the event. An estimated 200,000 participants,traders and spectators are expected.

He announced that parking cars and hawking by the roadside had been banned as they caused major traffic snarl-ups last year.

“We have designated spectator zones that are open to all and any car found parked by the roadside will be towed and released on Monday,” Kimathi said.

The senior officer said the rally cars would use a link-road from the KWS Training Institute service bay to Moi South Lake road to reduce traffic jams in Naivasha town.

He said there was no limit to the number of spectators as was the case last year due Covid-19 crowd reduction requirements.

“We are asking spectators to travel a day in advance to avoid the traffic jam and to keep off  the roadside whether parking or selling any merchandise,” Kimathi said.

Kimathi said Kenya was the only country in Africa and the third outside Europe to hold the event that will support hundreds of traders in Naivasha.

Sammy Mugo from the Naivasha Tourism Association said that all major hotels in the lakeside town were fully booked. 

Mugo, who is the association treasurer, said last year’s event was an eye-opener, adding that they expected large crowds and more fun.

“Last year we had many challenges including the pandemic but this time we are looking forward to hosting a better global event that will attract thousands,” he said.

Mugo, who is also the MD of Panorama Hotel, said they were better prepared this year.

He called the rally a major blessing for the hospitality sector that was hurt by the Covid pandemic that caused major revenue and job losses.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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