•Coast regional commissioner John Elungata assured the security team that Mombasa is ready as they have experience from hosting many international events at the coast
•The team in Mombasa led by the director of Security and Accreditation Joseph Kiget also toured the Moi International airport in Mombasa.
In the wake of coronavirus threat, security machinery in Kenya has vowed to go an extra mile to ensure all is well at all the entry points ahead of the 2020 World U20 Athletics Championships in Nairobi in July.
Local Organising Committee security teams have toured various entry points within the country to sensitize their counterparts on the expectations during the July 7-12 event. The team, which was divided into two visited both the western and coastal regions.
Coast regional commissioner John Elungata assured the security team that Mombasa is ready as they have experience from hosting many international events at the coast. The terror threat from the notorious Al Shabab terrorist group is a reality but he says they are well prepared.
“At the coast, we have a well-equipped anti-terror police unit. We are always alert, and we have dealt with many threats and prevented the attacks. This is a priority for us and we can assure you that we have put measures in place to ensure that we deal with every eventuality if and when it arises”, he added.
The team in Mombasa led by the director of Security and Accreditation Joseph Kiget also toured the Moi International airport in Mombasa. This is a key facility as it the next available international airport in case flights are diverted from Nairobi for whatever reason.
Kenya Airports Authority Regional Airport Manager Peter Wafula took the team through what the airport has set aside just in case the flights are diverted to Mombasa. The airports Unit 2 that was used for the 2007 World Cross Country Championship in Mombasa still has the same facilities in place.
At the Kenya Ports Authority, Managing Director Manduku welcomed the committee, pledging full support for the event.
“I know the importance of the port of Mombasa because a lot of equipment will pass through here. In 2017 (during the world athletics under 18 championship) we had a lot of equipment to clear. Just like in 2017, we will give it first priority and waive all charges. You will only pay for handling charges,” said the MD.
KPA will give the goods a priority and put them on the Standard Gauge Railway within 24 hours of landing at the port of Mombasa.
In an impressive move, KPA has built an isolation facility at the port in case there are any coronavirus cases from the cruise ships that dock at the port of Mombasa.
In western, the team visited Kakamega, Busia border, Malaba and the Moi International Airport in Eldoret while the Mombasa, team toured the Kenya Ports Authority and the Moi International airport, Mombasa.
The western regional commissioner, Anne Ng’etich said all was in place to ensure the country hosts a successful event. She said she was part of the World Under 18 Championships organisation in 2017 and believes her experience then will go a long way in assisting in this year’s event.
She, however, urged the Organising Committee to keep them posted on a regular basis in the wake of the coronavirus threat.
“I have already briefed my team both at the Busia and Malaba borders about the event, and security is in place even before the World Under 20 show,” she added.
Busia County commander John Kanyiri confirmed that they had received instructions from the Western regional boss over the same and were already in discussions with his team on how best to handle the situation during the period.
Organizing Committee Security Committee Assistant Director, Joseph Chirchir briefed security teams at entry points in western and Eldoret Airport on the expectations of the World Athletics.