- They admitted that the LAPSSET is a rich resource which can benefit them as long as they are trained on the available opportunities and how to fit in and be part of the labour market for massive ports.
- They lamented that they are unable to pay for courses at Bandari College in Mombasa as they are poor.
Lamu seafarers are appealing to the Kenya Maritime Authority-KMA and related players in the industry to sponsor them for marine-related training to enable them to benefit maximally from the job opportunities arising from the new Lamu Port (Lapsset) project.
They admitted that the LAPSSET is a rich resource which can benefit them as long as they are trained on the available opportunities and how to fit in and be part of the labour market for massive ports.
They lamented that they are unable to pay for courses at Bandari College in Mombasa as they are poor.
They spoke during a seafarers’ rights sensitization workshop held at the Lamu Mwana Arafa Hotel by the KMA.
The sensitization workshop focused on the legislative framework of maritime labour, maritime education, and training, career opportunities in the maritime industry, and health and social benefits available for seafarers.
The Lamu Seafarers Spokesperson Hassan Awadh urged the authority to formulate a special program that will see a number of youth in Lamu sponsored in maritime-related courses to enable tap into the Lamu port job market.
In October 2021, the KMA certified 300 Lamu coxswains to operate following a successfully completed training on maritime safety by the authority.
The seafarers called for more similar pieces of training to enable them to benefit from not just the port but other related sectors as well.
“We need more such pieces of training here so that seafarers here can equally benefit from the immense job market offered by the Lamu port. Many of them are artisanal meaning they lack papers but are well-experienced. However, the port requires that we provide papers,” said Awadh.
They also called on the KMA to fast-track the operationalization of the intended Maritime Education and Training Institute at Mokowe, Lamu.
Early this month, the county government of Lamu inked a deal with KMA to open the satellite Maritime Education and Training College in the region.
The institution will offer skills through the assistance of Mombasa’s Bandari College.
The KMA Acting Director General, John Omingo reaffirmed the authority’s commitment to nurturing a collaborative approach in dealing with seafarers, social partners, international transport workers federation, ship-owners, recruitment and placement agents in line with the International Labour Organization’s advocacy of tripartite consultation.
Omingo noted that there is an increase in the number of Kenyans seeking opportunities in the hospitality industry, especially on cruise ships and said it was a positive move in line with the government’s agenda on job creation.
“We remain focused on developing the needed maritime labour for both the national and international markets. We are doing our best training to that effect are accomplished,” said Omingo.
“We will sustain implementation of various international Conventions covering training, employment, and welfare of seafarers."