With the intentions to protect and monitor territorial waters from illegal fishing, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched the first coastguard.
The MV Doria is the Kenyan coastguard first boat.
According to the president, illegal fishing costs Kenya about $100m (£78m) a year. The coastguard will help to keep the waters safe from illegal activity. In addition, Kenya also wants to keep its waters safe from smuggling and drug trafficking.
Earlier, Kenya’s maritime security is entirely based on the Navy which will now also be able to focus on security and military affairs. Right now, Kenya’s coastguard has one boat and they will still have to depend on the Navy until it has its footing.
The president launched the coastguard unit near the shore of Mombasa. President Kenyatta revealed the vessel ‘MV Doria’ for surveillance purposes. Mr. Kenyatta also emphasizes the need to protect the foreign vessels who steal fish.
The International Organization for Migration has called Kenya a major shipment place for human trafficking and sex trade.
This new force has just one boat that’s hardly patrol Kenya’s coastline. The coastline stretches over 621 miles (1,000km).
Kenyan fishermen have long criticized of harassment from Ugandan forces on disputed waters of Lake Victoria. The Kenya Coast Guard will need political support and resources to achieve the target.
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