The Nairobi Assanand blast
On Monday, 28 May 2012, the normalcy and serenity of an afternoon in downtown Nairobi was broken by a huge blast, by local standards, at Assanand building along Moi Avenue. Thirty two people were injured and one life was lost. It was not the first terrorist attack on Nairobi and, unfortunately, it is not going to be the last. The following could be the objectives of the people behind Monday attack:
- Just unleash terror by killing as many people as possible, on this; they succeeded in killing one and injuring over thirty people.
- A test run to see how the authorities and our security agents are organized (disorganized), of which the actions of the commissioner of police Mr. Iteere and the government in general communicated a lot when they gave unverified and contradicting facts immediately after the blast. At first linking the blast to an electric fault then changing the story when Kenya power discredited this reasoning.
The security agents and the authorities should up their game in securing scenes of disaster and criminal events. There are rumors that the al-Qaeda has been overheard bragging that their agents remained around after the Assanand blast and passed themselves as journalists and even interviewed the victims.
- To see how the public react and how they may be herded to a possible disaster through curiosity. The public did not disappoint by crowding around the scene of incident. If you watched the huge crowds at the scene, from the pictures streaming live on most media houses, one thing must have become very clear to you, Kenyans can let their curiosity lead them to their death.
Picture this; with improved security checks on entrances to most buildings in the city, criminals might find it difficult to sneak in big explosive devices into such building. In order to have the highest impact possible, they can work the other way round, bring huge crowd to their explosive device. Such a device may be kept in a car parked on the street. The terrorists need only to interest and attract Kenyans to the device with a smaller incident before triggering a bigger blast after huge crowds have formed.
Improvised Explosive Device
Your security is your responsibilityAll said and done you should realize that your security is your responsibility. In such events you should overcome your curiosity, keep away and wait to see the events through the media. Experiencing such incidents firsthand may be interesting but might turn out to be the last thing you see.
Image via Wikipedia
Slum tourism is a form of tourism that is cutting a niche for itself in Kenya and Kibera (Nairobi) is the pioneer tourist site of this kind.But again,it is still controversial.There are issues to do with morality of people coming to look at the people living in abject poverty, as when they look at wildlife in game parks .
Meanwhile,people are making money out of it.Some in very unorthodox means.Among those in this category,is a Sub-Chief in Katwekera.He has created a syndicate, comprising of some youth gangs, that demands for a protection fee for any white visitor to the slum from the tourists handlers.Failure to which such visitors are attacked and robbed of their valuables.There are alleged cases.In one such case,some German tourists were attacked after their guide failed to make the payment.The good thing, though,is that the youths issue warnings in advance (mostly in form of threats) to those known to bring visitors to the slums.
If you plan to tour Kibera,especially if you are a white man/woman,ensure that your guide has made prior arrangements.He has to visit the sub-chief’s office and declare his intention to bring visitors to the ghetto and make the necessary payment to him (call it a bribe or protection fee,whichever term appropriate)
- Poverty Tourism (otherguysdime.wordpress.com)
All night long jolly partying.You would expect or even wish that that is the only way to describe Nairobi’s Friday and Saturday nights.But just wait until you make a tour along James Gichuru road in the preceding mornings, then you are sure to come across evidences of the ugly side of the nights’ merrymaking.You will not miss to see, if not a wrecked car waiting to be towed,a street light smashed by a fast-moving car obviously out of control of the driver or worse still,victims(Mostly poor pedestrians and cyclists from and to work in the lavington neighbourhood) of the Saturday/Sunday curse of James Gichuru road,some dead and some injured.You get a feeling that traffic rules cease to exist during this period and on this particular road.
The director of National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) Dr. Frank Njenga is on record saying that the number of accidents in Nairobi increase drastically over the weekends,in particular Friday and Saturday nights.This is as a direct result of increased number of drunk drivers on the road.
With the danger of being involved in an accident on your way to or from having a good time lurking,it is only advisable and important that you think of your safety before going out on an evening.But,even before that,you should decide whether it is really necessary for you to be out there in the very unholy hours of the day.You might be a careful and sober driver on the road but you become a victim of the judgment errors of other road users.Your safety on the road depends on the vigilance of the other road users as much as your own.
If you do not have to go out on Friday or Saturday night,it is better to keep off the roads of Nairobi,James Gichuru included.But If you must have a night out,it is best to stick by a few precautionary steps.Plan ahead of the night out.This includes making up your mind whether to drink or not.If you have to drink,do not drive, the alcohol content and volume notwithstanding.Get yourself a cab or if you are in a group,have a designated driver.This can not be over emphasized.
A night out,even if it is on Friday or Saturday, should not come at the price of your safety and that of others.A party is one that starts well and ends well for all.
On Sunday,15 April 2012, early in the morning(Around 2am) a VW Golf and a Landcruiser VX collided along James Gichuru road.Two young men in one of the cars became the latest victims of the weekend accident curse on this road:Waweru and Silvano(Son to Gladwel Otieno and grandson to Wambui Otieno).