Kenya launches Coast Guard Service as it fights to stop $100 million going down the drain in illegal fishing and drug trafficking annually

It is estimated that Kenya loses Sh10 billion in revenue annually due to illegal and criminal activities at sea, something Kenya is determined to put a stop.

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  • On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS), a multi-agency security service established under the Kenya Coast Guard Service Act, 2018.
  • It is estimated that Kenya loses Sh10 billion in revenue annually due to illegal and criminal activities at sea, something Kenya is determined to put a stop.
  • The service will be headed by Brigadier Victor Naisho Loonena.

On Monday, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS), a multi-agency security service established under the Kenya Coast Guard Service Act, 2018 to enforce law and order in Kenya’s territorial waters.

Accompanied by leaders including Deputy President William Ruto and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, President Kenyatta commissioned the service in Liwatoni, Mombasa County.

“The Coast Guard will ensure that our ocean will not be used for drug & human trafficking, & illegal fishing. It will guard against exploitation of our natural resources by foreign countries & ensure that no foreign vessel will steal our fish,” He tweeted.

Apart from stopping drug trafficking  and illegal fishing on Kenyan waters, the multi-agency security service, which comprises personnel from the police, army and intelligence services and civilian professionals seconded from the Public Service Commission, will also be tasked with monitoring piracy, smuggling contraband goods, degradation of the marine ecosystems, through discharge of oil or dumping of toxic waste, sand harvesting destruction of coral reefs to arbitrating on border disputes.

During the ceremony, Mr. Kenyatta also commissioned the MVDoria vessel which will be used by the Kenya Coast Guard Service to patrol Kenya’s waters as the government step up its efforts in protecting, and effectively harnessing maritime resources.

KCGS will be headquartered at the Liwatoni Fisheries Complex in Mombasa but will have a strong presence at the Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu ports.

The service will be headed by Brigadier Victor Naisho Loonena. He is responsible for the day to day administration, management and control of the resources i.e. human, financial and technological; overall command of the disciplined and uniformed service; oversees and implements the policies of the service.

The launch comes as Kenya prepares to host the sustainable blue economy conference from November 22 to 26.

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