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STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT, THE HONOURABLE UHURU KENYATTA, CGH, AFTER VISITING JOMO KENYATTA INTERNATIONAL

AIRPORT 9th AUGUST, 2013

I came here today to inspect progress so far in returning the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to normal operations. I have been delighted by the progress that has been made. As you are all aware, the airport resumed operations to all traffic at midnight last night. Passengers are coming in and going out, as it ought to be. They are not as comfortable as wed like them to be, but we are working on that. Airport capacity is up to about 70 per cent. Safety and security is significantly enhanced. We are grateful for their patience and understanding. We are grateful to all stakeholders for their patience, grace and support. Many have been asking what caused the fire. Investigations are ongoing. Our own security services and agents from other friendly nations are involved in the investigations. We can now confirm that there was no element of a terror incident in this fire. There is no evidence of an explosion or an improvised explosive device. This was a simple fire gone bad. Investigators would like to find out what exactly happened. They want to find out who was responsible and why. If anyone is culpable, including for gross negligence, they will be dealt with by the full force of the law. To enhance passenger comfort, in addition to the facilities we have made available, we will build a new temporary terminal with a capacity of 2.5 million passengers. 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. We are taking stock of the damage at the Arrivals Terminal but have not yet quantified the cost. But we do not intend to do patch work to use the area. We intend to do a full refurbishment of Terminals 1, 2 and 3 once our new temporary terminal is ready. We have also overhauled our national disaster services, creating one coordinating agency, to take charge during an incident such as this one. All security agencies serving within the airport will also come under the command of a single senior officer with immediate effect. We have received massive support, including financial, security equipment and others, from lending institutions and friendly governments to get this important regional hub back to full operations, and we are grateful to them. We now ask you to allow technical and logistics experts to get on with their job. We can review where we are again in about 4 weeks. Thank you. God Bless you. Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H, President of the Republic of Kenya