Kenya lies on the direct path of one of the busiest international shipping lanes in the world with an estimated fifty (50) vessels of various types operating there at any given time.
Of these, ten (10) of them would very likely to be oil tankers ferrying the commodity from the rich fields in the Middle East countries varying in displacement from 50 to 250,000 metric tons.
With a Coastline measuring over 600 kilometers from Tanzania in the South to Somalia in the North, Kenya has always been a major player in maritime affairs extending back to the 5th Century when Chinese armadas , later Ottoman Turkish fleets and Portuguese vessels always called into the ancient ports of Lamu , Malindi and Mombasa.
Kenya is also host to numerous inland water bodies which have been used for regional trade and transport ranging from the giant Lake Victoria and Lake Turkana to the smaller bodies in the Rift Valley and even at the Coast.
Kenya’s reliance on tourism for foreign exchange and fisheries for trade and subsistence requires that serious regulatory mechanisms be put into place to ensure that these waters are protected from adverse environmental disasters like pollution and human malpractice which can lead to their degradation. The Mombasa port plays an important role in servicing the international trade needs of the land-locked countries of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Southern Sudan and to some extent, Ethiopia and Somalia.
The transit traffic to these destinations passes through what is commonly referred to as the “Northern Corridor.”