There has been noticeable advancements of Kenya’s interests within the maritime security and safety space since the establishment of Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) five years ago, Interior and National Administration Principal Secretary Dr. Raymond Omollo has said.
Dr Omollo said that the Security Sector was cognizant of the modalities and technologies employed by criminals in trafficking narcotics, humans and weapons, piracy and terrorism among others adding maritime crimes remain existent and are getting advanced and the government was working to curb the challenges.
He made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by the Ministry’s Principal Administrative Secretary Anne Ngetich during the launching of the first strategic plan for Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) 2023/24 – 2027/28 that focuses on the delivery of Secure and Safe territorial waters in the Country.
The PS noted that the presence of KCGS has suppressed illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the coastal and inland waters, through intelligence-led patrols and sustainable utilization of the resources.
“Despite the many positive steps we are taking to the growth of KCGS, we are now witnessing an increase in geopolitical strategic competition, economic volatility, impact of climate change, shifting workforce expectations and evolving technologies,” said Omollo.
The security of the country’s territorial waters (ocean, rivers and lakes) encompasses vigilant maritime patrols, proactive surveillance and strict maritime laws enforcement.
The strategic plan that was launched at the Pride Inn Beach Resort, Shanzu, Mombasa is aligned to the Vision 2030 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals and proposes bold plans to build broad coalitions with regional and global partners to tackle shared challenges in the maritime security sector.
KCGS was established in 2018 and has been integral in search and rescue missions, particularly in flood prone areas and preventing illegal and unregulated fishing on the Indian Ocean and Lakes Naivasha, Victoria, Turkana and Baringo.
This, Dr Omollo adds is through strategic moves and decisive measures that are simply indicative of a strong agency in the war against maritime crimes and threats.
He further said there was need for a change in the way services are provided because citizens expect a conducive maritime environment that is safe and secure to be able to thrive.
“A national, regional and international coordinated maritime security approach that incorporates all stakeholders is therefore vital in mitigating the threats to our maritime security,” Omollo added.
The government domesticated the IGAD Blue Economy Strategy in February 2023, which recognized maritime security as a key enabler of sustainable socio-economic growth.
“The Ministry will continue seeking support from other stakeholders and our partners to enable the service to build its capacity and deliver on its vision to ‘A Premier Service in Maritime Security and Safety,” the PS concluded.