Kenya is now set to join a group of elite African countries with highly specialised service guarding territorial waters with the planned launch of the coast guard service, the government announced on Wednesday, 14 November 2018.
It is estimated that the country loses at least $100 million in revenue annually due to illegal and criminal activities at sea, and the coast guard service is expected to keep the country’s seashores safe from aggression and illegal commercial activities.
The coast guard to be launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta next Monday 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 highly specialised service will be headquartered at Liwatoni in the coastal city of Mombasa, but it will have a strong presence at the Mombasa, Lamu, and Kisumu ports in western Kenya.
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 26 November 2018 to 29 November 2018.
“The country thus takes pride in its place in the international discourse on maritime security and safety,” said a statement from the Interior Ministry.
The evolving maritime security challenges all over the world have seen criminals use the sea as corridors for committing transnational organised crimes such as terror attacks, piracy, and drug and human trafficking among others.