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East African Standby Force Moots for Construction of Marine Rescue Centres

The force, formerly known as the Eastern Africa Standby Brigade, is one of the five regional forces for Peace Support Operations consisting of military, police and civilian component. Its member states include Uganda, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
Deputy Commander of the Uganda Peoples Defense Airforce Gavas Mugenyi and Abdillahi Omar Bouth the Director of the East African Standby Force in Entebbe

Audio 4

The East African Standby Force is mooting for the construction of marine rescue centres.

The force, formerly Eastern Africa Standby Brigade, is one of the five regional forces for Peace Support Operations consisting of military, police and civilian component. Its member states include Uganda, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.

Meeting a team of the force at the Marine Base in Entebbe on Monday, the director of the standby force Abdullah Omar Bouh says that the rescue centres will be of help to support whoever needs instant maritime rescue and help.

He says the plan to construct the centres in the region will be divided into three categories which include countries close to the Red Sea, countries with the Coastline of the Indian Ocean and those with inland water bodies.

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Amongst the member's states, six have access to the sea. Somalia has the largest with up to 3,000 kilometres on the shores of the Sea while the rest of the countries are landlocked and rely on inland marine transport to move people and goods from one place to another.

The plans by the force come at a time when the government is planning on construct 10 marine rescue centres across the country.  The centres will be located in Entebbe, Jinja, Mwena – Kalangala on Lake Victoria while others will be constructed in Lakes George, Edward, Albert, Kyoga and Wamala. 

Brigadier Michael Nyarwa, the commandant of the UPDF Marines, says that currently several rudimentary methods are being used while helping and rescuing people stuck on the different water bodies in the country.

These include communicating with commissioned officers close to the scene who immediately, if well-facilitated move in to help in search and rescue. 

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Nyarwa also says there are many other minor vessels involved in accidents especially on Lake Victoria but go undocumented. He says such dangerous spots need to be documented and marked so as to help small marine vessels avoid accidents.

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