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Staying safe during demonstrations: 5 essential tips to follow

Opposition leader Raila Odinga called for demonstrations on Monday, March 20, 2023, despite the police issuing a stern warning that the demonstrations were illegal.

The opposition said that the demonstrations would kick off as early as 6 am which means that traffic snarl-ups will be witnessed.

Kenyans heading to work or opening their businesses today, need to familiarize themselves with the situation at hand.

Also read: Nairobi traders discuss riot insurance ahead of Azimio’s Monday demo

Be vigilant and find out from colleagues whether there has been a commotion near their place of work and how the police are handling the situation.

Here are some of the tips that one should follow in order to be safe;

Keep abreast of current news to ensure that you are on the know-how

This means that one should ensure that they follow news from their mobile phones, check out www. occasionally for a blow-by-blow on today’s demonstrations, and get updates as they come.

Be well informed of what is taking place and at what time. In this case, one should know the movements of Mr Odinga’s led team.

Also read: FBI arrests US Capitol rioter after he is deported from Kenya

If you hear that a demonstration is taking place, avoid the area or stay indoors until you are sure that it’s safe to go out

If the demonstrations are taking place near them. One must avoid the area and instead choose to stay indoor to avoid being hurt by the picketers.

During such a time, suspected criminals take advantage to terrorise Kenyans and even steal from them.

If you come across a demonstration, don’t become inquisitive, just leave the area and find another route to your intended destination

If you come across an area where there is a demonstration, do not inquire about a lot of issues but instead run for safety.

This is because immediately one starts asking questions to fellow civilians, it will indicate that you are not conversant with the situation at hand. The chances of losing your personal effects at this moment are very high.

Also read: Waithaka MCA Anthony Karanja vows to ‘confront’ Azimio’s Nairobi demos

Should you need to go to an area that experiences a lot of demonstrations, try not to go alone. Where possible take someone with you and operate as a team looking out for each other. Keep close and maintain visual contact

This rule applies if only it is a must for one to go to where there is a demonstration. Otherwise, if not, then it will be very important if you don’t go.

If then it is a must, try and convince a few people to accompany you and always ensure that you operate as a team as you look out for each other.

You should ensure that they keep an eye on each other until you clear your mission before returning to safety.

Avoid any place where police or security force action is in progress.

If you spot an area with armed police ready to disperse a rowdy crowd,  run, run in the opposite direction because things are about to deteriorate.

If the Kenyan police officers are pushed to the wall, they are known to use extra force.

Also read: A phone, stab and murder: How 24-year-old Bovine Demo lost his life in Mirema