Kenya has started training players in the maritime sector on oil spill response management.
The move is in line with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s efforts to end greenhouse gas emission and pollution in the ocean by 2020.
Recently, Norwegian Coastal administration through the Oil for Development Programme conducted a three-day training aimed at building human resource capacity for the national oil spill contingent plan that was developed by the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) in partnership with other stakeholders.
KMA organised and hosted the IMO Level 3 Oil Spill Response Management Training at Pride Inn Paradise Beach resort and Spa, in Shanzu, Mombasa.
KMA corporation secretary and head of legal services Jane Otieno launched the training on behalf of director- general George Okong’o.
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Okong’o said KMA appreciates the importance of precautionary measures in avoiding pollution incidents and the need for prompt and effective action to minimise the damage which may result from oil pollution.
“KMA carries out continuous oil spill preparedness trainings for its stakeholders to build capacity of competent personnel to effectively respond to oil pollution incidents involving ships, sea ports and oil handling facilities,” he said.
The issue of oil spills into the marine environment has long been a major concern and the focus of international attention throughout the world, he said.
“In the past decades, and still today, environmental performance of oil and shipping industry especially oil spills have come under sharper scrutiny from the public and governments. This has resulted in various measures both internationally and locally to make these industries safe and environmentally sound modes of operation,” he added.
In 1990, IMO came up with the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, which provides a framework for responding and co-operation during oil spills.
“In Kenya, great strides have been made over the past years through a variety of measures, such as the development of the National Oil Spill Response Contingency Plan, as well as increased advocacy and capacity building, to effectively reduce both the risk and occurrence of marine oil pollution incidents. This gathering today is a testimony of the continued efforts being pursued,’’ Mr Okong’o said.
The national contingency plan for marine spills from shipping and offshore installations is a document that was developed by the government in 2014.