Continental festival set for Kisumu postponed due to floods

FESTAC festival which was supposed to be hosted in Kisumu this month has been postponed to a later date due to floods.

According to a statement released by the organising committee, Kisumu was poised to host the $h World Blacks and Africa Festival of Arts and Culture -FESTAC AFRICA on May 20-26, 2024

The statement further says preparations have been in top gear with many delegates from across Africa and the world confirming participation in this epic celebration of African heritage Culture, Sports including the East African Community games and sustainable growth which serves as a convergence point for diverse cultures.

We however regret to, the statement further states, announce that this festival has now been postponed due to aggravated and unpredictable weather conditions in Kisumu County and rest of Kenya, following heavy rainfall.

The statement says safety on highways connecting the Capital city Nairobi with Kisumu and other Western Kenya towns have remained a source of grave concern because the floods continue to destroy bridges and wash away roads.

“Deadly landslides have been reported in many parts along the highways, putting the lives of travelers at risk. Some of the venues booked for FESTAC along the shores of Lake Victoria have been flooded, due to back flow from the lake, rendering them inaccessible,” the signed statement further reads.

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Furthermore, it adds, the county government is battling a serious humanitarian crisis after the floods displaced more than 15,000 people and destroyed crops worth over 60 million in all the eight sub counties.

“Having considered the magnitude of the festival and levels of risks linked to the bad weather conditions, as predicted by the meteorological department the county leadership and the FESTAC,” it states.

It says the Organizing Committee has resolved to postpone the festival to August 25-September 1, 2024.

According to the statement, all other arrangements, including the speakers, programmes and guest lists remain the same.

The organizers have pleaded with service providers including Airlines and hotels that had booked in the delegates for the festival not to cancel the bookings but transfer them in line with the new dates as part of compassion with all those inconvenienced by the turn of events

The statement was signed by Philip Adundo-Chairman, FESTAC Africa.

By Fredrick Odiero

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