Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Kenya floods cause postponement of fifth edition of FESTAC Africa

FESTAC Africa International, the organizers of the World Blacks and Africans Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) has said it had to postpone the fifth edition of the festival due to the aftermaths ofollowing heavy rainfall and massive flooding in Kisumu County and the rest of Kenya.

The festival which was initially slated for May 20-26, 2024 in Kisumu City is now rescheduled for to August 25-September 1, 2024.

The organizers of the global festival cited the aggravated and unpredicted weather conditions in Kisumu County and the country at large which has left behind a trail of destruction.

In a statement to the media, FESTAC Africa International Chairman Eng. Yinka Abioye said the decision was regrettable since preparations for the festival were in top gear with delegates from across Africa and the world confirming attendance.

“We however regret to announce that this festival has now been postponed due to aggravated and unpredictable weather conditions in Kisumu County and the rest of Kenya following heavy rainfall and massive flooding that has killed more than 200 people,” he said.

He said safety on the highways connecting Nairobi with Kisumu city and other towns in Western Kenya, was a big concern since floods continued to destroy the infrastructure putting the lives of travelers at risk.

Abioye added that some of the venues booked for the festival along the shores of Lake Victoria were flooded due to a backflow from the lake rendering them inaccessible.

Furthermore, Kisumu county government which was hosting the festival was grappling with a serious humanitarian crisis after the floods displaced over 15, 000 people and destroyed crops worth Sh60 million.

Eng. Obioye revealed the festival’s steering committee has therefore resolved to postpone the festival to August 25-September 1, 2024.

He said other arrangements including the programme, guests and speakers would remain the same.

He urged all service providers including hotels and airlines that had booked in delegates not to cancel the bookings but transfer them to the new dates.

FESTAC is Africa’s biggest festival in culture, fashion, music, dance, travel, tourism, trade, investments, arts and crafts, poetry, sports and culinary arts.Eng. Abioye assured the delegates and sponsors that the organizers were committed to delivering the best festival in Kisumu come August.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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