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Cablegate: Country Clearance Granted for Christine


DE RUEHNR #5177/01 3401255
R 061255Z DEC 06



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 194416

1. Embassy grants country clearance for the visit
of, Christine Gottschalk, OFDA Regional Coordinator
from o/a December 9-12, 2006 to meet with the
OFDA/ECARO Principal Regional Advisor, partners and
other USG officials and meet with UN organizations
regarding Northern Uganda, the Horn of Africa
flooding and OFDA programming in the region.

2. Country clearance is granted subject to the actual
security situation at the time of proposed travel. Per
reftel, visitor has a Secret Level Security clearance.
The embassy switchboard number is 254-20-363-6000 and
the after-hours number is 254-20-363-6170. Control
officer is Jack Myer, Office telephone 254-20-8622000
ext: 2706; and cell phone 254-722-510540.

3. Hotel accommodation has been arranged at the
Mayfair Hotel at a cost of 133.00 U.S. dollars
inclusive of taxes. The hotel telephone number is
254-20-3740920, and the hotel facsimile number is 254-
20-3748823. A driver from Express Travel, the Embassy
travel agent will meet you after you exit the baggage
claim area. If you do not see the driver, inquire at
the "Europcar/Express Travel Group" counter. Cost for
transport is USD. 40.00 round trip

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4. ICASS TDY charges: Each visitor, regardless of
length of stay, must bring/forward fiscal data to pay
for direct costs of the visit. Each agency,
organization or visiting delegation will be charged for
the actual costs attributed to its visit. Direct
charge costs include, but are not limited to: airport
transportation, accommodations, American and LES staff
overtime (for such services as airport expediting,
control room staffing, cashier services, drivers), long
distance telephone calls, cell phone rentals and cost
of actual calls, travel and per diem costs for American
or LES staff who accompany the TDY employee on field
travel, rental of vehicles and equipment, gasoline and
other vehicle maintenance costs, office supplies, cost
of goods procured, departure tax and other airport
fees. Post will not provide service if fiscal data is
not provided for the direct charges.

5. For TDYers remaining at post over 30 days, there is
a charge for ICASS support services. This charge is
for the following ICASS services: Basic Package, CLO
and Health Services. The charge per month is
approximately $353. Agencies will not be billed until
the accumulated invoice cost for TDY support exceeds
U.S. Dollars 2,500 for the fiscal year. If your
sponsoring agency is not signed up for ICASS services
at post, please be prepared to sign a Memorandum of
Understanding for ICASS support services upon arrival.

6. The agency should provide post with a written
communication, generated by the traveler?s
headquarters, that confirms the agency will pay ICASS
charges for the TDYer, provides the agency ICASS
billing code to which the TDY support charges should be
applied, and authorizes the traveler to sign the ICASS
invoice generated by the TDY module. Where travel is
urgent, the TDYer should bring this documentation with
him/her to ensure there are no interruptions in the
provision of service. Post will not provide any
service to a TDYer staying in excess of thirty days
without provision of this documentation before day 31
of the TDY. If you have a sponsoring agency at post,
please request that they fill out a TDY introductory
memo on your behalf so that it is easier to receive the
services you need from the embassy's ICASS service
provider. The Medical Unit cannot provide services
without the introductory memo with fiscal data.

7. Policy for TDYs of 30 days or more: Effective
January 1, 2005, American personnel traveling to post
on TDY assignments of 30 days or more must have
completed mandatory personal security training. The
four-day course, "Serving Abroad for Families &
Employees (S.A.F.E.)," is available at FSI, or agencies
can apply to DS to provide their own equivalent
security training. In the country clearance request
cable, agencies must provide certification that
training for covered employees will be completed prior
to travel. For training schedules at FSI contact the
Registrar?s Office at 703-302-7143; for the training
syllabus contact Dr. Patricia Schofield at 703-302-
7267. For other agency self-certification, contact
DS/T William Armor at 703-205-2816.

8. Security assessment:

- There is currently a travel warning in effect for
Kenya, which states that the U.S. Government continues
to receive indications of terrorist threats in the
region aimed at American and western interests,
including civil aviation, and that the Kenyan
government might not be able to prevent such attacks.

- Nairobi is designated a critical threat post for
transnational terrorism and crime by the Department of
State. The RSO is required to brief all TDY visitors
staying more than one week, as soon as possible after
their arrival at post.

- There is a high rate of street crime in downtown
Nairobi, and reports of group attacks and muggings are
on the rise throughout the country. Pickpockets and
thieves carry out "snatch and run" crimes on city
streets and near crowds. Visitors have found it safer
not to carry valuables, but rather to store them in
hotel safety deposit boxes or safe rooms. Walking
alone or at night downtown is not recommended as
attacks have taken place on public streets and parks.
The RSO recommends leaving all important documents
(passports, plane tickets, etc.) in a hotel safe and
not wearing any jewelry on the street. In addition,
visitors should avoid hanging a camera around their
necks, carrying a protruding wallet, and carrying or
showing large amounts of money in public.

- While traveling in vehicles, doors should be kept
locked and windows rolled up. Carjackings are common
in Nairobi and diplomatic vehicles and personnel are
not immune to these attacks by armed thieves. Highway
bandits are active on roads leading to the border

- The Government of Kenya (and the Mission firearms
policy) prohibit the importing and carrying of firearms
except for U.S. law enforcement officers engaged in
protective security or investigative duties.

9. Climate: Weather conditions in Nairobi are sunny
and mild year-round with daily temperatures ranging
between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In April and
May, it rains frequently and daytime temperatures are
lower. From June through September, dry, but often
cloudy, weather persists with cool nights. From October
through November there is occasional rain, but most
days are sunny and warm.

10. Health: Due to the high altitude, Nairobi is not
a malarial area and malaria prophylaxis is not needed;
but the risk of malaria outside Nairobi is significant.
Therefore, if you are planning to travel outside
Nairobi, particularly to areas below 3,500 feet
elevation, it is advisable to begin using oral malarial
medication before arrival and for four weeks following
departure. In addition, every effort should be made to
use insect repellents, proper clothing, and barriers
which discourage/prevent mosquito bites. Travelers
should also carry immunization records with valid
yellow fever immunization as well as being current with
other inoculations. The embassy medical unit advises
that local tap water is not potable. Bottled water is
safe to drink and can be purchased in local hotels,
restaurants and grocery stores. Individuals with
sickle cell trait should carefully consider the
altitude of this post. Short-term (TDY) assignments
carry an added risk because of the lack of time for
acclimatization. Dehydration and stress from exercise
or illness compound the basic risks of high altitude.
For more information about sickle cell trait, contact
your health unit or the medical clearances section of
the Office of Medical Services.

11. Internal travel:

- Due to the dangerous driving conditions in Nairobi
and in Kenya in general, post policy now prohibits
TDYers from driving USG or rental vehicles. If riding
with others or hiring a driver, note that it is
inadvisable to travel at night outside well-traveled
areas due to the lack of lighting, road signs, and
warning signals on broken down vehicles. Many drivers
exercise poor judgment and drive too fast. Traffic
accidents are common. Public ground transportation in
Kenya, particularly after dark, should be avoided for
safety and security reasons. Travel via passenger

train in Kenya is considered unsafe by the RSO,
particularly during the rainy seasons. The trains and
tracks lack routine maintenance and safety checks.

- GSO has contracted with Jim Cab Services to provide
additional transportation services for the mission. In
the absence of special arrangements for use of official
vehicles, TDYers and visitors will be expected to use
this service for their transportation requirements.
Because TDY transportation is reimbursed as part of the
individual?s travel expenses, TDYers will pay for their
transportation directly to Jim Cab when the services
are rendered. Landline numbers for Jim Cab are 254-20-
712-2565, 254-20-712-1205 or 254-20-712-0344; cell
phone numbers are 254-722-711001, 254-722-714246 or

12. Money matters:

- For better exchange rates, it is recommended that
money changing/accommodation exchange be undertaken
through our contracted bank, the Commercial Bank of
Africa (CBA). CBA has branches in the US Embassy
building and the USAID building. CBA?s hours of
operation are Monday through Thursday, 9 AM to 12 noon
and 1 PM to 3 PM; Friday, 9 AM to 12 noon. For TDYers,
CBA will cash up to 500 U.S. dollars per day and will
change cash, traveler?s checks or personal checks. If
you are using personal checks, an exchange application
form must be filled in and approved by the Financial
Management Officer prior to visiting the bank. Your
control officer will provide the form or you may pick
up a copy in the Financial Management Center. Certain
ATM machines in town will accept US ATM and credit

- Credit cards are accepted at major hotels and
restaurants, with VISA and Mastercard being the cards
of choice.

- The current rate of exchange is approximately 70
shillings to the U.S. dollar.

13. General:

- AEA Morale Store: TDY membership in the American
Employees Association (AEA) is available for five U.S.
dollars per week or one dollar per day. The AEA Morale
Store offers a limited supply of liquor, soda, beer,
snacks, Embassy souvenirs, and Kenyan crafts. All
products are sold in U.S. dollars. Cash and travelers
checks are accepted; no personal checks are accepted.

- APO Use: TDY personnel wishing to use the APO are
required to present a copy of their TDY/leave orders to
the APO supervisor. Military members must also produce
a valid ID card.

- TDY travelers to Nairobi can be given the option to
connect to their State Department OpenNet mailbox.
Please ask your system administrator for the domain
name and the IP address/name of your organization?s
mail server and confirmation that remote access of your
mailbox is possible. Please give our systems office
advance notice of the need for remote connection by
sending an e-mail with the above information to

14. Entry requirements: A visa to enter Kenya is
mandatory. This applies to U.S. citizens arriving for
any purpose and regardless of type of passport.
Travelers may obtain a visa in advance at a Kenyan
embassy or consulate. Alternatively, a visa can be
obtained at the airport (for a voucherable charge of 50
U.S. dollars if traveling on a non-diplomatic passport,
or gratis if traveling with a diplomatic passport), but
lines may be long and processing time slow. Evidence
of yellow fever immunization is usually requested upon
entry to Kenya.

15. Departure: Each person departing Kenya
(regardless of age or type of passport) must pay a 20
U.S. dollar departure tax payable in Kenya shillings or
U.S. dollars, unless it has been included in the price
of your ticket. Further, there is 500 Kenya shilling
(approximate) departure tax imposed on all domestic


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