The Nairobi Agricultural Show goers as well as exhibitors have been assured of maximum security during the one week trade fair that is starting on Monday.
Motorists who will access the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) grounds have been asked to cooperate with the traffic policemen who have been deployed at designated areas to control traffic.
Speaking at the showground on Sunday ahead of the opening, the Nairobi Traffic Police Commander (TPC) in charge, Joshua Omukata said Ngong road which is the only major entry to the grounds and has been undergoing construction would be opened during that week.
“We have been able to reach out to the contractor who has opened up the road to some extent to accommodate vehicles to access the grounds through Ngong road,” Omukata said.
He advised Kenyans who don’t have any business within the show ground area to use alternative routes so that they are not inconvenienced.
“Motorists can use the southern by pass and on the other side Waiyaki way going up to Kikuyu to join the southern by pass to Karen, while Lang’ata road also joins the same exit at Mombasa road near ole Sereni so that we don’t inconvenience the show goers,” he emphasized.
The TPC assured Nairobi residents of smooth flow of traffic since he has deployed enough personnel and officers. However he also called upon the public and road users to comply with the traffic officers who would be along the roads for smooth flow of traffic.
James Mwaniki, Officer in charge of operations in Nairobi, said security arrangements were in place as they have deployed enough officers from all departments on the ground to ensure all were safe.
“During the show, we experience and expect petty crimes such as pick pocketing and mugging. I want to assure everyone that security personnel are ready,” he said.
He however, challenged members of public that security starts with them and they should always be on the lookout, giving an example of drugging which is on the rise.
Citizens should ensure that they access food or anything to eat from a recognized restaurant or eateries. “Nowadays we are even dealing with things like cookies and biscuits laced with drugs so I want to ask the public to be careful,” Mwaniki said.
The TPC said just like last year, they expected that the security would be fine and without any incidences.
However he said that there would be thorough screening at the points of entry into the show grounds while foot and dog patrol would also run for 24 hours within the show ground and throughout the trade fair.
“We are using a multi-agency approach together with management of the ASK show, disaster management, and all stakeholders to ensure all runs smoothly,” Mwaniki said.
The Branch Chairman Nairobi International Trade Fair, Joseph Mugo called upon exhibitors to be cautious and also take care of their own goods even as the government provides security.
“We expect around 400 local exhibitors and 100 international exhibitors who will be showcasing innovation and technology in areas of agricultural and also education as addressed in this year’s theme,” he said.
Mugo said a new ultra-modern exhibition centre that was inaugurated by the President who is the patron of ASK show last year is ongoing and would be ready soon.
“This modern expo will have a capacity of 450 exhibitions, sitting capacity will be about 600 and it will also carry a B2B business discussions. We want to develop this agricultural society branch into a 24 hour economy to be used by Nairobians since we have the land and the facility,” the chairman said.
Mugo said that they expected that the ultra-modern expo which would cost half a billion shillings to be ready in the next three months.
According to the organizers of the event, the multi million shillings expo facility would transform the grounds into a modern spectra destination for investors and entertainment joint all year round considering that once the trade fair is held once a year, activities shut down until the next year.
The Nairobi International Trade Fair is the largest in the East African Region and offers opportunities for regional, continental and global exhibitors to display and demonstrate their services and products.
By Wangari Ndirangu