The Port of Mombasa is the gateway to East and Central Africa and is one of the busiest ports along the East African coastline. Established in January 1978 under an Act of Parliament, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is mandated to manage and operate the Port of Mombasa and all scheduled seaports along Kenya’s coastline. The Port provides direct connectivity to over 80 ports worldwide with an annual cargo average tonnage of around 24 million. Equipped to handle a wide range of cargoes the port has a total of 19 deepwater berths.
From its inception in 1921, the Missions to Seamen in Mombasa has served thousands of seafarers. The Kilindini harbour has been a major stopover of heavy maritime traffic from the world over. The centre, which is located just outside the port, provides free port transportation and ship welfare visits, free internet and computers, an interdenominational chapel, money exchange, wash facilities, sports hall, chapel, bar, large swimming pool and a unique tortoise sanctuary.
At the end of October 2018, representatives from key statutory organisations attended the inaugural meeting of the Kenya Seafarers’ Welfare Board (KWWB). Roger Dainty, Kenya Ships Agents Association, was elected as chair and Betty Makena, International Transport Federation, deputy chair for the first year. Reverend Moses Muli was elected SWB Administrator. During the meeting, members focused on the financial sustainability of the seafarers’ centre and a “concept proposal” for its redevelopment. It was agreed that the Board should promote the work of the seafarers' centre in a bid to increase fundraising opportunities and raise seafarers’ welfare awareness.
The hugely successful establishment of the Kenya Seafarers Welfare Board is attributed to the preparation and outstanding co-ordinating role of Reverend Moses of the Mission to Seafarers, Mombasa. He undertook a substantial amount of preparatory work, including arranging for representatives of the local maritime community to meet on two separate occasions, prior to the inaugural formation of the welfare board meeting.