The European Union has launched a Go Blue Maritime Security project that aims to improve Kenya’s Blue Economy.
Speaking in Mombasa during the opening of Go Blue and Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani offices, Irene Giribaldi, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Kenya, said the €5m (sh.603m) project will help in dealing with maritime security challenges.
“Kenya’s waters provide significant economic opportunities, such as fishing, aquaculture, coastal and marine tourism, as well as research activities,” Irene Giribaldi said.
However, she says these prospects are undermined by a wide range of challenges including marine pollution and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.
“While focusing on the Blue Economy growth, Kenya is seeking to ensure optimal use of its resources to prevent over-exploitation of maritime resources with a view to ensure new wealth creation opportunities and possibilities for the coastal communities,” she added.
The project is part of the overall Go Blue programme that is funded by the EU with implementing partners from Germany, Italy, Portugal and France, and two United Nations agencies i.e UN Habitat and UNEP.
“Fighting against illicit activities at sea requires a multi-stakeholder approach,” said Rima Le Coguic, the Deputy CEO in charge of operations at Expertise France.
Other activities will also be set as part of the Go Blue project, such as a community on water watch program including fishermen safety courses and the development of a mobile phone application to enhance safety and security at sea, as well as support and improve the search and rescue chain across the coastal counties.
“A safe and secure Kenyan maritime territory is key for the further development and expansion of our thriving Blue Economy,” said Brigadier (rtd) Loonena Naisho, Director General at the Coast Guard Service.
Kilifi Governor elected JKP Chair
Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro is the new Chair of the Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani (JKP) Economic Bloc.
Mung’aro became the third Chairperson of the bloc, taking over from former Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja.
“I am humbled and honored for the trust and faith that my colleagues have in me, thus allowing me to serve the @JumuiyaBloc as The Chairperson. Together we will make this leg of devolution an astounding and transformative success to the coastal people,” said Governor Mung’aro.
The Kilifi Governor was elected to the position following the official opening of JKP offices in Nyali, Mombasa County.