• KMA registrar of seafarers Josephine Nthia said the authority was undertaking various initiatives to promote the training, employment and welfare of seafarers.
• Lamu sea users’ association chairman Abubakar Twalib urged KMA to push for the establishment of a port college in the county.
The Kenya Maritime Authority has urged seafarers to familiarise themselves with the legal framework that governs the water transport sector.
The agency said this will ensure their operations remain within the confines of the law.
On Friday, the authority held a sensitisation workshop for seafarers at Mahrus hotel in Lamu island. The forum was to equip coxswains, shippers, and other players in the water transport sector with knowledge on the legal framework that governs their rights, employment and welfare.
The training attracted sailors from various islands across the archipelago, including Amu, Matondoni, Faza, Shela, Kizingitini, Pate and Kiunga.
Attendees were enlightened on both technical aspects of the implementation of Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, on seafarers’ rights and the seafarers' health, safety, and the welfare services available to them.
KMA registrar of seafarers Josephine Nthia said the authority was undertaking various initiatives, all of which are aimed at promoting the training, employment and welfare of seafarers.
Nthia urged Lamu seafarers to embrace career progression, especially under the Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention, 1978 as amended and the Merchant Shipping (Training and Certification) Regulations.
“As we train you on the legal framework as well as matters of employment and welfare, we also advise that you embrace the national social and health benefits which apply to you. Take advantage of such services to ensure that on retirement or in case of health challenges, you benefit from the national social and health scheme,” she said.
Lamu has more than 6,000 boat operators spread across the archipelago.
Lamu sea users’ association chairman Abubakar Twalib urged KMA to push for the establishment of a port college in the county so youth can receive adequate training in maritime undertakings.
Twalib said the county has witnessed a rise in shipping and other marine-related activities owing to the operationalisation of the new Lamu Port in Kililana.
He said the focus should be on equipping players in maritime with the right skills to deal with the anticipated changes.
In October this year, KMA issued certificates to more than 300 coxswains in Lamu after they were trained in safety to reduce accidents at sea.
Edited by A.N