Counties

KMA, Prisons to make number plates for ships

Lamu-fishing

Fishing boats anchored at the Lamu seafront. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Kenya Maritime Authority will partner with Kenya Prison Service to make number plates for boats and ships in a plan to boost safety on the waters.
  • Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Director General Robert Njue said the registration process of marine vessels will have details of the owner, licensing and the identification number. The number plates will be made of aluminium.

The Kenya Maritime Authority will partner with Kenya Prison Service to make number plates for boats and ships in a plan to boost safety on the waters.

Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Director General Robert Njue said the registration process of marine vessels will have details of the owner, licensing and the identification number. The number plates will be made of aluminium.

“This process is meant to ensure safety of passengers. It will not only help in law enforcement but for easier identification,” said Mr Njue.

He said the registration will help in identifying the sea worthiness of the boats and ships operating in the Kenyan water bodies.

KMA plans to have orange coded number plates for passenger water vessels while green coded number plates for fishing water vessels.

“We have been working closely with NTSA for them to share their expertise on this project,” said Mr Njue.

By incorporating ICT into the project, the water vessel registration system will be open to other government agencies and county governments.

Currently there is no government document prescribed for ownership of water vessels.

“We will not have cases of identification numbers owned by two people. In terms of law enforcement, we will directly approach the vessel owner,” said Mr Njue during an interview.

Many lives have been lost in water vessel accidents.

Last year in November, 10 people drowned after the boat they were travelling in capsized near Honge Beach in Bondo, Siaya County. The 20 passenger boat was transporting maize and bananas from Uganda to Usenge.

In 2019 KMA had barred 500 marine vessels from operating at Kisumu's Winam Gulf for failure to comply with maritime regulations.

Majority of marine vessels have not met the safety requirements and therefore rendered unseaworthy. Maritime accidents on Kenyan waters have been progressively increasing in the past 10 years, a majority caused by human error.