The Government is in the process of registration exercises for water vessels across the country for security and safety purposes, has reached the inland navigation waters of Lake Turkana in Marsabit County.
The exercise by the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), in conjunction with the Coast Guard Services (KCGS), has conducted public participation in El-Molo Bay, Loiyangalani Sub-county of Marsabit County to ensure a successful take-off of the exercise.
The team led by Captain Elijah Agak, which paid a courtesy call on the Marsabit Deputy County Commissioner, Patrick Muriira, representing the County Commissioner, before proceeding to the lake shore town of Loiyangalani, aims at subjecting about 250 boats and crafts operating on the Lake Turkana to formal inspection and registration.
Captain Agak said that at the end of the exercise every vessel would be issued with registration numbers that bear watermark and security features at a nominal fee.
He said that operators and owners would be trained on safety measures in order to ensure activities in the Lake were carried with minimum risks.
Mr Muriira lauded the initiative by the Kenya Maritime Authority, which he noted would help streamline business on the Lake hence increased revenue and employment opportunities.
He added that the Lake which borders Ethiopia, is normally used by unscrupulous traders to smuggle in commercial goods that include cigarettes and alcohol, hence denying the country the much needed foreign exchange.
“There is a probability that illegal aliens use the unpoliced water mass to gain entry into the country,” the DCC observed, adding that expected enforcement patrols would help in addressing the problem.
The Administrator said through enhancement of security, the menace of drug and human trafficking would be checked while environment conservation activities would be fast tracked.
Mr. Muriira called on operators of boats and crafts on the Lake to cooperate with the Authority as the transformation of the Lake operations was for their common good.
By Sebastian Miriti