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Loonena appointed as first ever Coast Guard Director General

Loonena, who has a past career spanning 20 years with the Kenya Defence Forces, was appointed to the post from the Defence Forces Medical Insurance Scheme where he served as Managing Director for four months/file

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 15 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed Brigadier Vincent Naisho Loonena as the first ever Director General of the Kenya Coast Guard Service.

Loonena, who has a past career spanning 20 years with the Kenya Defence Forces, was appointed to the post from the Defence Forces Medical Insurance Scheme where he served as Managing Director for four months.

“Brigadier Vincent Naisho Loonena has made history as the first ever Director General of the Kenya Coast Guard Service following his appointment by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta today, albeit in an acting capacity,” a statement from the Interior Ministry said.

It pointed out that the Kenya Coast Guard Service will officially be launched by the Head of State on Monday next week at Liwatoni in Mombasa.

The Kenya Coast Guard Service was established by The Coast Guard Service Act 2018 and was operationalized on 22nd October 2018 when interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, gazetted the law.

It will be responsible for protecting the country’s waters against dumping of harmful wastes and pollutants, search and rescue services, and the arrest of illegal fishermen.

Other members are the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, General Samson Mwathethe, the Inspector General of the National Police Service, Joseph Boinett, the Attorney General, Paul Kihara Kariuki, and representatives from the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Fisheries among others.

The statement indicated that Kenya now joins a group of elite African countries with highly specialized service guarding territorial waters.

It is estimated that the country loses at least a lot of revenue annually due to illegal and criminal activities at sea, and the Coast Guard Service is expected to keep the seashores safe from aggression and illegal commercial activities.

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It will be responsible for protecting the country’s waters against dumping of harmful wastes and pollutants, search and rescue services, and the arrest of illegal fishermen.

The headquarters of the highly specialized Service will be at Liwatoni in Mombasa, but it will have a strong presence at the Mombasa, Lamu, and Kisumu ports.

The launch of the Coast Guard Service comes at a critical moment when Kenya is preparing to host the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference scheduled for 26th to 29th November 2018.

The Coast Guard Service will also provide insights into the development and implementation of international maritime security policies.

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