Heavy rains slow down crucial port operations in Mombasa

Motorists wade through flooded sections of the road along the Bamburi-Utange road in Kisauni within Mombasa County, May 23, 2019. [Gideon Maundu, Standard].
Operations at the Port of Mombasa have slowed down for the last two days following heavy rains that have been pounding the entire coastal belt.

Heavy rains have pounded Mombasa, almost continuously, for three days, causing huge disruptions to infrastructure and commercial activity. Meteorologists also report high incidences of oceanic rains and sea storms in the Indian Ocean which have caused rough seas.

A statement issued by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) yesterday stated that the rains have paralysed all ship operations, prompting the conventional cargo area to close hatches.

KPA stated that the most affected vessels are those that have arrived to discharge wheat, fertiliser, steel and coal.

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At the container terminal, KPA added that only deliveries were operational.

“The whole of Thursday for example, there was nil performance in the operation area as rains persisted  throughout the day, which also severely affected the Standard Gauge Railway freight services,’’ read the KPA  statement in part.

According to head of corporate affairs at KPA, Benard Osero, the port’s management will be able to ascertain what they may not have handled due to reduced operations.

Osero added that the effects of the prevailing situation will be characterised by slow cargo evacuation, poor stevedoring services and reduced SGR operations.

“KPA has put in place strategic measures to mitigate against the vagaries visited on the port by the unfavourable rainy weather condition,’’ said Osero.

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The port authority has in the meantime assured customers that they are making every effort to ensure that all resources are utilised optimally when the rains subside.

“We wish to advice those who have not finished their documentation to continue doing so and be ready to clear cargo once the weather permits,’’ Osero added. 

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MombasaHeavy rainsKenya Ports Authority