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Shipping & Logistics

New maritime body established to enforce safety regulations

Nancy Karigithu
Shipping & Maritime Affairs Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya has established a new maritime regulatory body called the Kenya Maritime Administration (KMA) as it commits itself towards international conventions on safety in its waters.

The formation of the board according to Shipping & Maritime Affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Nancy Karigithu is to make sure that all safety precautions and measures touching on safety of marine users are addressed as per the international conventions to which Kenya is signatory.

It comes two months after Miriam Kighenda, 35, and her daughter Amanda Mutheu, 4, died when their car slipped off the MV Harambee ferry at the Likoni channel in Mombasa on September 29, 2019.

Though the accident might have looked like a normal in the eyes of them many, Kenya as an internationally recognised maritime nation and a signatory to various international maritime conventions has to look at ways of redeeming the situation.

Maritime experts and players both in the marine, maritime and shipping sector have voiced their concerns over what they say is a lapse in addressing fundamental safety issue s to ferry users at the Likoni crossing channel.

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They want a serious government commitment to ensuring the safety of its users.

Speaking in an interview with Shipping and Logistics, a maritime expert Andrew Mwangura said had Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) had within the vicinity qualified personnel and equipment as required by law while operating such vessels, then the victims of the Likoni ferry tragedy could have been saved.

“A vehicle will float for 30-120 seconds before sinking and it was evident that the KFS was clueless on salvage operations. All they need is professional divers, heavy equipment such as floating crane and barge, floating airbag, underwater cutting equipment, hydraulic salvage pump, air compressor and hydraulic winch,” he said in an interview this week.

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