All seafarers wanting to offer services for vessels in the deep seas of Kenya’s territorial waters will be required to be certified by the IMO and the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA). The government says untrained persons will not be allowed to work onboard ships plying deep seas without certification.
urrently, Kenya has over 2,000 seafarers who are licensed to operate in the deep seas. The government, however, says the number is low considering the potential the deep seas can offer in terms of employment.
For this reason, it noted that it will not allow non-licensed workers to offer services for vessels in the deep seas. In fact, Stephen Buluma, the principal of Kenya Railways Marine School, explained that “only lMO and KMA licenced operators will be allowed in the deep sea vessels.”
The need for training and certification is to ensure that they are well equipped in terms of safety and they can handle their work with a lot of professionalism
said government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna.
To train more seafarers, the government said it will increase intake at the Bandari and the Kisumu marine schools, the only institutions in the country that offer certification.
Kenya last year secured the welfare of seafarers by gazetting the Maritime Wage Council aimed at resolving the current disparity in wages between Kenyan seafarers and those from other countries which have an established wage standard.
The move aims to ensure locals receive fair pay for equal work onboard ships. The standard wage will enable Kenya to meet its obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 of minimum working and living standards for all seafarers and will set a level-playing field for ship owners.