• The process is coordinated by the UNFPA with the help of two local public relations firms.
• The five delegates who fainted received first aid at the ambulances outside the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, where the conference is taking place.
Five delegates have been hospitalised after fainting during a chaotic registration process at the International Conference on Population and Development, which opened on Tuesday morning.
Thousands of other delegates have also missed the opening ceremony and most of today’s events.
Participants took an average of four hours queuing outside the Nairobi county Assembly, where the registration is being confirmed and badges issued.
The process is coordinated by the UNFPA with the help of two local public relations firms.
The five delegates who fainted received first aid at the ambulances outside the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, where the conference is taking place.
The meeting was officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta at 10 am, but by midday, hundreds of participants were still being rained on outside county assembly waiting for badges.
“I travelled for more than eight hours, from Geneva, arriving today at 5 am. Now I've been here four hours waiting for a badge,” said Robin Rambretch, who missed a side-event he was supposed to co-host.
African delegates also complained those from Europe were being favoured, being fast-tracked.
“I’ve been waiting for five hours now. I have queued, I have been rained on, I am frustrated,” said Lucy Ikene, a civil society participant from Ghana.
A UNFPA official blamed their New York office for taking over the process, allegedly sidelining the Nairobi office.
Hundreds of delegates also missed the conference bags, with officials blaming the shortage on over-registration by Kenyans.
“It’s frustrating to travel so many hours and for a three-day meeting and miss the first day because of disorganization by the planners,” said a participant from New York, who only identified as Julie.
This is not the first major conference held in Kenya.
The UN Environment Assembly usually draws about 2,000 delegates, but the registration process and issuance of badges are often digitized and flawless.