, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has officially launched the Kenya Coast Guard Service which he says will play a pivotal role in unlocking the potential of fishing activities at the coast.
Speaking during the launch in Mombasa on Monday, the President described this as part of the broader Blue Economy strategy that will ensure no illegal fishing or other activities take place within the Kenyan coast.
He emphasised that the Service will be tasked with the management and enforcement of laws in Kenya’s internal and territorial waters.
“Its principal mandate shall be in cooperation with other organs to secure Kenya’s territorial waters and it will complement maritime security and safety by addressing gaps in maritime law enforcement,” he stated.
“The ongoing strengthening of the interagency collaboration that I have been pushing at the national level as well as information sharing and cooperation at regional and international level, will complement this effort,” he said.
During the launch, President Kenyatta also commissioned MV Doria, the vessel that will be used by the Service to patrol the country’s territory along the Indian Ocean.
“Through this partnership, the transformation of the Mombasa Port into a transshipment hub will give the Kenya national shipping line the opportunity to participate in transferring these containers to neighboring ports thus contributing to the development of coastal shipping and other maritime coastal services.”
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho welcomed the initiative and emphasised that it will be a milestone for Kenya.
Other than maritime security, the newly formed service will be responsible for pollution control, sanitation measures, search and rescue services, and the arrest of illegal fishermen.
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.
Brigadier Vincent Naisho Loonena was last week appointed as the new Director General of the Service.