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Kenya detains over 100 Tanzanians in fishing row

Saturday May 25 2019

Tanzanian fisherman

Some of the more than 100 Tanzanian fishermen being held at the Kenya Fisheries Services Offices in Kilifi County on May 25, 2019. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WINNIE ATIENO
By WINNIE ATIENO
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Over 100 fishermen from Tanzania are being held in Kilifi after drifting into the Kenyan waters.   

The Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) seized the Tanzanians and their 23 fishing vessels on Friday while operating in Kenya’s territorial waters after their boats landed in Kilifi, Wesa, Watamu, Ngomeni, Malindi, Uyombo, Mayungu and Kipini.

DOCUMENTS

KCGS said some of the fishermen lacked proper personal identification documents.

“On Friday, KCGS received information that 23 boats from Pemba with 108 people on board had drifted into Kenyan shores within Kilifi due to prevailing rough conditions at sea,” KCGS Lieutenant Commander Glen Majanga in Kilifi.

The men claimed they were fishing in Tanzanian waters when the weather conditions worsened.

“They (fishermen) claimed that due to poor visibility, they could not navigate their way,” added the KCGS boss.

Two of the fishermen were rushed to a local hospital where they were treated and discharged.   

PEMBA

Mr Majanga urged seafarers to conduct their businesses within the United Nations Convection of the Law of the sea.

He said that KCGS will ensure that Kenyan territorial waters are safe for legal economic activities.

“The weather was bad, we found ourselves in Kenya. We want to go home but the weather is still bad,” said Mr Mbaku M’mbaku, a Pemba-based fisherman.

HEAVY RAINS

Early this week, the weatherman warned of heavy rains and strong winds that may result in storm surges along the coast. Mombasa County Director of Meteorology Edward Ngure warned fishermen to be cautious.

The heavy rains have affected many businesses at the Coast including operations at the Port of Mombasa.

In Kwale, the rains have caused flooding, cutting off Mombasa-Lunga Lunga road near Mwangei.

The Kenya National Highways Authority on Thursday advised motorists in the coastal region to use Kombani-Kwale-Kinango-Lunga Lunga route after floods.