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Maritime Authority starts campaign to up security

By | March 11th 2010

By John Oyuke

Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) has begun a new phase of maritime security campaigns.

This follows concerns that safety compliance level for communities living along navigable water bodies is still low.

Awareness campaigns have previously been held last year in Malindi, Kilifi and Bondo.

However, Director-General, Nancy Karigithu said communities living along the shores of Lake Victoria are still at risk.

She said KMA would conduct countrywide awareness campaigns on maritime safety starting in Bondo’s Mbita Point between March 18 and 19.

Over 600 stakeholders, including waterfront communities and the provincial administration will participate in a maritime workshop at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) Hall in Mbita.

Karigithu said the one-day event would be followed by a boat racing competition on the second day, at Nyagina Beach in Mbita.

KMA will carry out similar activities to cover all navigable water bodies in the country, as part of its mandate to coordinate and oversee Kenya’s maritime safety.

Karigithu said the authority’s mandate includes ensuring the safety of life at sea, security of ships and port facilities and the protection of marine environment.

The renewed dialogue and open relationship with local communities coincides with the authority’s ISO 9001:2008 Certification for streamlining its business operations.

Karigithu said KMA achieved the certification as a result of effective documentation, implementation and maintenance of a high level of management.

Best practices

"We now join an elite group of global institutions that have embraced best practices for business efficiency and customer satisfaction," she said.

She reiterated that the award gives impetus to KMA to develop a world-class workforce, competitive enough to nurture a good commercial and operational environment that would transform local maritime transport sector.

"The recognition also resulted from identifying weak links in the maritime industry, examining system failures and addressing them accordingly."

The Mbita workshop will show fisher folk and the Lake Victoria communities how to maintain an efficient regime for safe and secure water transport as well as protecting the marine environment.

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