Expect minor cell phone disruption during Obama visit

July 23, 2015 3:04 pm
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He said no major disruptions are expected as cell phone service provider Safaricom assured that it had "taken steps," to ensure this/FILE
He said no major disruptions are expected as cell phone service provider Safaricom assured that it had “taken steps,” to ensure this/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec says there will be minimal disruption to cell phone services during US President Barack Obama’s visit.

He said no major disruptions are expected as cell phone service provider Safaricom assured that it had “taken steps,” to ensure this.

“We have conducted key network optimisation in certain locations where summit attendees will be located. In addition, we have upgraded our fixed data capacity to facilitate live streaming as the visit is of international interest,” they stated on their website.

It did however include the caveat that the Secret Service may interfere with the mobile signals near Obama.

Godec also advised Nairobi residents to look out for updates on the timings of road closures in order to plan ahead as State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu sought to assuage fears that Mombasa Road, in totality, would be off limits for the duration of Obama’s visit which commences Friday and concludes Sunday.

“The Inspector General of Police has clarified that Mombasa Road will not be completely shut but there will be changes in the normal patterns of traffic. In any case that change in the normal patterns of traffic will only affect tomorrow and normalcy will be restored from Saturday,” Esipisu said.

Nairobi County Commander Benson Kibue on Wednesday said that parts of Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway, Waiyaki Way, Limuru Road, Thika Road, Haile Selassie, Moi Avenue and Landhies Road are among those that would be affected by Obama’s visit. Some from as early as 2pm Friday.

READ: Obama visit: Mombasa Rd, Uhuru and Waiyaki Way to face hitch

As a consequence, some schools will remain shut on Friday in order to avoid the likely grid-lock.

The schools include Makini, Riara, Jonathan Gloag, Waridi Nursery, Shani Kindergarten and All Saints Primary School.

READ: Schools in Nairobi to take a break ahead of Obama arrival

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet however said there was no reason for parents to fear sending their children to school on Friday as President Obama would be arriving well past the end of the school day.

READ: Keep calm when Obama is in town – Boinnet

On Thursday, Esipisu said the Ministry of Interior would also not gazette Friday as a public holiday.

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