Brigadier Vincent Naisho Loonena has made history as the first ever Director General of the Kenya Coast Guard Service in an acting capacity following his appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
A statement from the Interior Ministry Thursday said Loonena was appointed to the post from the Defence Forces Medical Insurance Scheme where he served as Managing Director for four months.
“Loonena takes up the new job after an illustrious career of over 20 years within the Kenya Defense Force-Navy.” It said.
The statement further stated that the Kenya Coast Guard Service will officially be launched by the Head of State next week on Monday at Liwatoni in Mombasa.
According to the statement, The Kenya Coast Guard Service was established by The Coast Guard Service Act 2018, and was operationalized on 22nd October when the Cabinet Secretary Interior and Coordination of National Government, Dr. Fred Matiang’i gazzetted the law.
The Kenya Coast Guard Service Act also puts in place the Coast Guard Service Council which is the apex governance of the service chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, the council comprises multi-agency security teams and Cabinet secretaries, including Amb Raychelle Omamo (Defence), Keriako Tobiko (Environment and Forestry), James Macharia (Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development).
Other members are: Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, Gen. Samson Mwathethe, the Inspector General of the National Police Service, Joseph Boinett, the Attorney General, Paul Kihara Kariuki, and representatives from the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Fisheries among others.
Kenya now joins a group of elite African countries with highly specialized service guarding territorial waters. It is estimated that the country loses at least $100 million in revenue annually due to illegal and criminal activities at sea, and the Coast Guard Service is expected to keep our seashores safe from aggression and illegal commercial activities.
Kenya Coast Guard Service will be responsible for protecting the country’s waters against dumping of harmful wastes and pollutants, search and rescue services, and the arrest of illegal fishermen.
The highly specialized Service will be headquartered at Liwatoni in Mombasa, but it will have a strong presence at the Mombasa, Lamu, and Kisumu ports.
The launch of the Coast Guard Service comes at a critical moment when Kenya is preparing to host the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference scheduled for 26th to 29th November 20 I 8.
” The evolving maritime security challenges all over the world have seen criminals use the sea as corridors for committing transnational organized crimes such as terror attacks, piracy, and drug and human trafficking among others. The Coast Guard Service will provide insights in to the development and implementation of international maritime security policies.” said the statement.