President Kenyatta overhauls national disaster services


President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday overhauled the national disaster services and created one coordinating agency to take charge during disasters.

President Kenyatta, at the same time, ordered the immediate placement of all security agencies serving within the airport under the command of a single senior officer.

The President spoke at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after inspecting progress made towards returning the airport to normal operations.

The airport resumed operations to all traffic at midnight Thursday night. To enhance passenger comfort, the President offered the use of the Presidential pavilion to boost operations of the airport.

He said a new temporary terminal with a capacity of 2.5 million passengers will also be built.

“We expect this to be ready and working in the coming weeks. We also expect the commissioning of our Terminal 4, currently under construction, to come on stream earlier than the projected March 4 date,” the President

He said once the new temporary terminal is ready, Government would do a full refurbishment of Terminals 1, 2 and 3 which were affected by the fire. The President observed that airport capacity is up to about 70 per cent while safety and security have significantly been enhanced.

Said the President: “Passengers are coming in and going out, as it ought to be. They are not as comfortable as we’d like them to be, but we are working on that.”

The President ruled out any acts of terrorism in the JKIA fire incident. He said investigations by both local and international security agents showed no evidence of an explosion or an improvised device.

“We can now confirm that there was no element of a terror incident in this fire. This was a simple fire gone bad,” President Kenyatta said.

He said that investigations are ongoing and if anyone is found culpable, including for gross negligence, they will be dealt with by the full force of the law.

The President appreciated the massive support, including financial and security equipment, from lending institutions and friendly governments to get the regional hub back to full

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