BY PETER KOMBE
Seafarers and marine students took to the streets in the central business district in Mombasa to demonstrate against Coastal MPs impinging on the Blue Economy initiative but instead address its teething problems for the benefit of the youths.
Led by the Mombasa Youth Assembly (MYA) members, the commonly known as baharia (seapeople) started from the historical Uhuru Gardens before marching along Moi Avenue, Digo Road and Kenyatta Avenue to Mvita MP’s office where they left their statement of intent.
According to the demonstrators President Uhuru Kenyatta’s initiative some months ago has the potential of creating job opportunities for the unemployed youths in the region.
The marchers chanted to the tune that there are some Coast legislators who are undermining prospects turning the blue economy into a vibrant development initiative.
Speaking to the media in Mombasa on Monday (May 6), after delivering their petition at Abdullswamad Nassir’s office, MYA president Ali Sudi decried the rampant youth unemployment in the county and country at large.
“Everybody knows and even our Coast region MPs are aware of the unemployment problem facing the youths in the country. So time has come for them to exploit the blue economy job opportunities to benefit us,” he said.
WILL NOT RELENT
The president added the Mombasa youths would not relent in their quest to get the promised blue economy jobs as envisaged by President Kenyatta.
“As youths we need jobs – nothing else! We know that this month there are over 2,000 job opportunities within the blue economy,” he claimed.
However, he urged regional leaders to work with the national government to ensure the planned initiative takes root and benefits the six counties and the entire country.
Ms Rony Mahamoud, a youth asked the MPs to liasise with those dealing with the blue economy initiative in order to create more employment opportunities for the youths.
She criticised them for being on the forefront of opposing the same knowing very well how the youths were suffering for lack of jobs.
“I am perturbed to see that some of the Coast politicians are going against a noble idea that is being pushed by the government leaving me wondering whether they care about our plight,” she added.
In a statement sent to media houses, the Seafarers and Coastal youth forum convener Andrew Mwangura urged the President to revitalize the Kenya National Shipping Line.
According to him once the KNSL is revitalized more employment opportunities will be created for the ever-increasing number of jobless youths in the country.
“Our government has a responsibility to plan and harness all resources available in the country and organize such resources for the social and economic wellbeing of all its citizens,” he added.
He told off those politicians opposing the initiative without offering an alternative that would create jobs saying such individuals were enemies of the youth.