Mombasa, KENYA: Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Transport,Infrastructure,Housing and Urban development launched officially three search and rescue boats that were donated by the world bank at a cost of sh 40 million.
The boats which are the first of its kind are to be used by the public during rescue missions that will be operating in Mombasa along the Indian Ocean.
Speaking during the launch of the three on Thursday in Mombasa, Transport PS Mr. Wilson Irungu said they are supporting an open ship registry, so that Kenya can have its own cargo ship.
“The ministry is in support of the open ship registry in showing its commitment in forwarding the regulations into the open registry to the attorney general, we will follow up and later auctioning on this initiative,” he said.
Kenya Maritime Authority chairman Mr. Mwalimu Kitambi, applauded the move saying an open ship registry is important and it will help in boosting the economy of the country.
“We failed to make timely decisions then and it is affecting us now because we are not getting our share of wealth from the waters. Ethiopia is landlocked but they made a decision and put their best forward and that is the decision that we are asking that we make as a country to have this open ship register because we have seen in the budget that in the next coming year we are not buying any ship”. Said Mr. Kitambi.
On his part, secretary General of the Seafarers Union of Kenya, Stephen Owak, says the rescue boats will help in reducing the deaths in the Indian Ocean.
“ With the launch of the rescue boat its another turning point in the operations of the maritime sector. There have been cases of people drowning during holidays particularly Jomo Kenyatta public beach so this boats will help a lot in rescue missions.” He said.