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Seafarers Union supports more budgetary allocation to newly formed Kenya Coast Guard Unit

COAST
By Philip Mwakio | March 19th 2019

The Seafarers Union of Kenya (SUK) has commended the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Administration over its resolve to ensure the newly formed Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) unit is adequately funded.

Speaking in Mombasa, SUK leadership led by chairman, Mr Daudi Haji and General Secretary, Mr Steve Owaki said that there was need for the new unit to be well funded, equipped and adequately staffed to meet its key mandate and operations.

Last Friday, the Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Administration toured the newly formed unit. They concluded that the KCGS officers need more advanced machinery such as aircrafts and more patrol vessels.

The committee chair Paul Koinange said they will ensure the unit, has enough personnel and is equipped to international standards.

He said plans are at an advanced stage by the government to ensure the coast is well resourced.

And speaking on the latest developments, Suk said that it was important for such a unity to be fully equipped.

'' We cannot say that we are functional Coast Guard with only one large boat in its inventory,'' Owaki himself a former naval officer said.

The Suk officials said that there was no way the new unit would be effective in discharging its duties over the vast Kenyan Coastline with only one boat.

KCGS acquired Bangladesh built 'Doria 'boat to boost its young fleet.

SuK, the officials added was also looking forward to working closely with the KCGS in a bid to bolster security of Kenyan maritime waters.

''Seafarers have the knowledge of water terrain. Our advice and input could help have a safer and secure Coastline. We are open for close collaboration with the new security outfit,'' the Suk officials said.

At the same time the Suk officials who were also accompanied by Vice chairman, Mr Mwalimu Chii Khamisi, thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for confirming the appointment of Brigadier Vincent Naisho Loonena who was picked from the  Kenya Navy to be the Director General of KCGS .

''He is a refined naval officer with all the requisite and energy to lead such a new unit,'' Owaki said.

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