Seafarerís Assistance Program (SAP) is a voluntary organization of Merchant Mariners. Itís services depends on a network of people in ports throughout the world.
SAP works closely with International Seafarers Welfare Agencies Worldwide. We call upon the Government of Kenya to implement the provisions of ILO Convention 163 on the provision of Welfare Services.
We also call for the introduction of a port levy to fund decent facilities and services for shipís crew as well as to facilitate for training of Kenyan Seafarers.
This can only be done through the use of tonnage Ė based fees to establish, maintain and improve training programs and welfare services in our sea port.
We believe that such a levy would be the fairest and most responsible way to ensure that international requirements for adequate funding of Seafarers Welfare Services are met.
Apart from promoting training for Kenyan Seafarers, the port levy would free voluntary welfare societies such as the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) and the Missions to Seafarers (MtS) to get on with the delivery of essential services to Seafarers, rather than being plagued with the continued problem of cutting down services in order to meet payroll costs or being faced with the decision to abandon all welfare services.
The Missions to Seafarers is an international society of Anglican Church while the Apostleship of the Sea (Stella Maris) is an International Society of the Roman Catholic Church.
Annually the port of Mombasa register the arrival of ships and the presence of between 16,000 and 21,000 seafarers.
The greatest number of the seafarers come from developing countries, a third of them from the Philippines.
The vessels remain in port from 18 hours to 2-4days.
In 2002/3 the port Chaplain of the Missions to Seafarers visited a total of 2,600 ships, while the Stella Maris at Holy Ghost Cathedral welcomed more than 1,800 Seafarers.
Seafarers spent most of their time away from home and family, after they spent their time with people from different nationalities with whom communication may not be easy.
As the ship is both their work place and their home it is vital that they have decent provisions both on board the ship and during their stay ashore.
This includes adequate accommodation, sufficient health, food and recreational facilities.
In other words Seafarers should be treated with dignity and be granted access to welfare facilities.
The ILO Convention 163 sets out the basic principles concerning welfare facilities and services should be provided to seafarers ashore and on board the ship.
It states that all welfare facilities should be provided in appropriate ports and granted to seafarers irrespective of nationality, race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion and social origin.
SEAFARERS ASSITANCE PROGRAM
P.O. Box 92273
Cell:00254 721 393458
Fax: 00254 41 230001