At least 2000 marshals to be hired to ensure that WRC Safari Rally in Naivasha goes on successfully

Friday, May 19th, 2023 08:00 | By
Photo used for illustration only. PD/ Courtesy

Two thousand marshals will be hired to ensure safety during this year’s World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally slated for Naivasha between June 22 and 25.

The competition’s Chief Safety OfficerNorris Ongalo told People Sport  in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that preparations for the high profile event were in advanced stages with roughly 90 per cent of the planning already done.

Ongalo assured fans that the remaining tasks would be wrapped up in less than two weeks, promising an event that surpasses all expectations.

Renowned for its thrilling action and scenic routes, this year’s rally, the third edition since getting back the World Rally Championships status, promises to be bigger than ever before. Ongalo highlighted the organizers’ commitment to ensuring a seamless experience for both participants and spectators alike. With road markings and alternative routes being meticulously planned, the event aims to minimize disruptions for other road users.

Drawing from the lessons learned in the previous edition, where traffic chaos ensued due to overenthusiastic revelers spilling onto the roads, Ongalo emphasized the implementation of stringent measures to prevent a repeat occurrence. He also mentioned that they were determined to keep the party atmosphere alive while prioritizing safety.

“In the previous year there was a lot of zeal in preparation for the event, and there were so many spectators who came over and set up many side parties which ended up congesting the roads that were supposed to be used together with the public,” he said.

He added: “We plan to push the parties a little bit farther from the roads because most of the people who come over don’t only come to spectate but also party more.”

When it comes to security, Ongalo provided peace of mind, mentioning an increased number of safety marshals dedicated to safeguarding both racers and fans.

Building on the expertise of previous events, security personnel received additional training to handle any potential challenges effectively. Ongalo emphasized that the responsibility lies with the organizers to ensure the safety of everyone attending the rally, allowing attendees to immerse themselves fully in the exhilarating experience.

“Actually this is a taxpayer event. We want them to enjoy as much as possible. Let it be our problem to ensure that they are safe,” he added.

Furthermore, the rally boasts 17 designated spots for spectators.

and 30 specific points strategically positioned for the mechanical engineers, rescue teams, and firefighters, among other safety personnel. Ongalo’s enthusiasm was contagious as he praised the unpredictable weather patterns that would add an extra layer of excitement and challenge to the race saying, “Having an unpredictable weather pattern as this is the best thing. It makes the race even more interesting.”

Anticipating a surge in visitors, Ongalo acknowledged the high demand for accommodations in Naivasha but assured that camping options would cater to the influx of spectators. Notably, this year’s rally introduces an exciting addition known as the ‘Hustler’s Bazaars,’ strategically positioned to support local businesses and stimulate the economy. Ongalo expressed his desire to empower small-scale entrepreneurs, envisioning a thriving marketplace for everyone from street vendors to enterprising individuals.

As anticipation builds, high-ranking officials, including President William Ruto and Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Nakwamba, have hailed this upcoming rally as a truly extraordinary event..

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