MOMBASA PORT 2001 2003

The Port of Mombasa has maintained a steady performance growth for the third year consecutively despite the economic hardship the country has undergone.

Audited results show that both financial as well as cargo tonnage performance registered remarkable growth in the year 2002.

Container cargo recorded the highest performance of 305,000 TEUs compared to the year 2001s performance of 290,500 TEUs.

This represented an increase of 14,927 TEUs or 5.1% growth. Import containers increased from 134,497 TEUs in 2001 to 143,359 TEUs in 2002 giving a 6.6% growth.

In total throughput, the port registered a minor reduction by 36,000 tons from 10.60 million tons in 2001 to 10.564 million tons in 2002.

This represents a decrease of 0.34% although this was a drop from the 10.7 million tones projection that was anticipated. Most of the cargo performance sectors continued to register remarkable improvement.

Transshipment traffic grew from 303.00 tones in the year 2001 to 340,000 tons in 2002 giving an increase of 37,000 tons of 12.2%.

Transshipment containers also grew by 1,599 TEUs from 25,769 TEUs in 2001 to 27,368 TEUs in 2002, a 6.2% growth.

Early this year the port acquired a new plot boat to boost pilotage services.

The pilot boat is a multipurpose vessel as she can also be used for patrolling and she has double the speed of the existing 4 pilot boats.

The acquisition of this boat is part of the on going equipment rehabilitation and replacement program aimed at improving port efficiency.

More port equipment is expected. This will include one more pilot boat, three berthing tugs, two ship to shore gantry cranes (SSGs), four rubber tyred gantry cranes, three reach stackers and five new terminal tractors.

The port has this year handled a big number of cargo ships, oil tankers, fishing vessels, war ships and cruise vessels with more than 27,000 seafarers working aboard these ocean-going vessels.

In the year 2000 2003 the port recorded 10 cases of 110 seafarers abandoned at the Mombasa Seaport.

The abandoned seafarers of which had not been paid their salaries were left without money or radio communications neither food and fresh water.

Although most of them have since gone back to their native countries. Three of them are still stranded at the port of Mombasa and are facing hardships.

They are literally starving and are dependent on handouts from sympathizers.

Other problems facing seafarers calling this region is the sea piracy, armed robbery and stow way menace.

Since last June (27) Seven seafarers are being held captive in Somalia aboard a Kingstown flagged cargo MV Sun wind and a Korean flagged fishing vessel FV Beira 3 respectively.

The hostages aboard the MV Sunwind are (8) eight Ukrainian Nationals while the hostages aboard the FV Beria 3 are comprised of (3) three Koreans, (9) nine Indonesians, and (9) nine Kenyans.

The illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing has also continued to be a big a problem in this region.

It is disheartening to say that during this period the Mombasa port has been a profit making parastatal board, but her labour force is underpaid and work in a slave-like condition.

It also hurts very much to note that the Mombasa port has since 1978 realized significant goals that have contributed substantially to the general development of the National and Regional Economies while 80% Kenyan seafarers are unemployed and are leaving in appalling situation.


Andrew Mwangura