RPS Partnership - 3 October 2017
Ryan Swindale talks to Safe Travels Magazine here.
He was asked how safe is it to visit Kenya? Here we bring you some of what he said to them.
Kenya is a great place to visit for both work or a holiday. It has a mixture of the rawness of Africa but with a cosmopolitan humdrum in Nairobi. The game parks are close to the city which gives the impression that wildlife lives hand in hand with urban life.
What are the biggest risks?
The biggest risks are crime – getting mugged downtown or carjacked driving around at night. There is a big differential between rich and poor. If you pass by a shanty town, you will see the abject poverty experienced by some.
When travelling, always be spatially aware. Learn what we call situational awareness on our next Hostile Environment Awareness Trainig course (HEAT or HET) on Monday 20 - Wednesday NOVEMBER 2017.
Leave your jewellery at home. It is advisable not take expensive items at all. A friend recently had his fake Rayburn sunglasses ripped from his face in a traffic jam as he had his window open.
What are the overlooked risks?
- Make sure your car windows are closed or with only a couple of cm open at the top.
- Always lock car doors prior to moving off.
- At night if driving run the red lights (carefully) as stopping may get you carjacked.
- Car-jackings usually occur on approach to house as the car is stationary waiting for gates to open – although car-jacking is on the decrease due to the fact it is getting hard to sell stolen cars.
- Don’t take expensive items on the streets when walking around and if you have to take your laptop then consider walking in pairs or taking the taxi.
- Don’t walk in downtown Nairobi after dark or walk through the parks.
- Both men and women not advisable to walk alone at night
How should people mitigate this?
Road traffic accidents are common – and beware of scams when up country to get you to stop then rob you.
If going on safari or up country then ensure your vehicle is well prepared with emergency equipment. Watch out for the rainy season as the rains will make some roads impassable. Take a brolly as the rain sometimes catches you out.
If you take an Uber, don’t advertise the fact, i.e. don’t stand on street corner looking at phone for reg number etc. There is a lot of animosity between local taxis and Ubers.
Criminals target mostly laptops so don’t carry in laptop bag.
What duty of care provisions should employers sending staff to Kenya have in place? What should employees ask for?
- Conduct risk assessments and update them regularly
- Have comprehensive security policies in place
- Maintain a log of accidents and near misses
- Record and share security concerns and trends
- Provide staff with information on environmental and health issues.
- Supply information on vaccinations and medications
- Provide staff with pre-training for security and medical emergencies
- Have a crisis management plan in place and conduct rehearsals with staff
- Ensure staff have access to primary health care
- Have an established emergency medical evacuation plan in place
- Ensure appropriate insurance policies are in place
- Make certain that vehicles and equipment in use are serviceable
- Utilise trusted local drivers if at all possible
- Have a working communications link
- Maintain good relations with the local Police, Security and Emergency services
Employees should not:
Cut corners, ignore security advice or take unnecessary risks
Elections - areas to avoid right now:
Informatioin we have got from the ground today is that the latest protests were in Kisumu, Kakamega, Mombasa, Garissa and Kitui counties where locals were engaged in running battles with riot police and some scuffles were reported.
In the last elections these were the areas, where violence flared, so we suggest avoiding them right now too.
There were also warnings to avoid Karanja and Kabarnet districts and the Juga and Outer-Ring roads. Speak to your local drivers or guides/fixers and they will be able to update you. often the protests flare up and then just as qucilly disperse.
Contact us for more information on firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: RPS Partnership in Kenya - car accident and driving in Kenya.