Spill Notification Point

Ras Serani Signal Station

Tel: +254 11 312895 (24hrs)

Contact may also be made directly to:

The Manager, Marine Operations
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA)
Port of Mombasa

Tel: +254 11 311409 or +254 11 471 590 (a/hrs)

Fax: +254 11 311867

The Oil Spills Response Administrator
c/o Esso Kenya Limited Mombasa

Tel: +254 11 495 762 or +254 11 432 184 (a/hrs)

Fax: +254 11 494 515

Competent National Authority

Contact details as for Kenya Ports Authority above.

Response Arrangements

The Kenya Port Authority, KPA, under the Kenya Ports Authority Act, has responsibility for controlling pollution in the territorial waters of Kenya (ie all inshore waters and those extending up to 100 nautical miles (about 160km) offshore).

The KPA, together with representatives of the oil industry, the shipping industry and bunkering services has set up the National Oil Spill Response Committee (NOSRC) which has developed a National Oil Spill Response Contingency Plan (July 2001).  The Plan recognises three levels of potential oil spill incidents within Kenyan territorial waters.  Tier One incidents will involve spillages of up to 100 tonnes of oil and are expected to be dealt with primarily by the operators responsible, if within their own installations.  Only spills at sea will activate the Plan and the NOSRC.  Tier Two spillages will comprise up to 1000 tonnes of oil and are the level of spill on which the Plan focuses most.  These moderate sized spills are beyond the capability of one single operator and the cooperative effort provided by the Plan will be applied.  However, depending on the extent of the spill, climatic and other conditions at the time, and the resources that are threatened, even a Tier Two spill may need to be treated as a Tier Three incident.  Tier Three incidents involve larger spills.  In such cases, the NOSRC will provide “first aid” but will be unable to cope adequately with its own resources and will require external assistance as identified in the Plan.

The Plan also identifies the resources that are at risk, assesses the level of risk involved and provides guidelines for shoreline cleanup depending on the type of shoreline contaminated.  It provides a list of what needs to be done when oil is discovered to have been spilled; who is responsible for particular tasks; the lines of communication to ensure coordination of effort; and a directory of equipment, contractors, suppliers, experts and maps of sensitive areas.

The major oil companies (Shell, BP, Mobil, Kenol/Kobil, Caltex, Agip and Total) formed OSMAG (Oil Spill Mutual Aid Group) in 1996 with the aim of creating a joint capability among all the oil companies using the Mombasa port to respond effectively to oil spills.  The organisation operates with and integrates the members’ efforts with relevant government parties and maintains links with concerned local, national, regional, international and private organisations. Each member of the group has an obligation to have an oil spill safety plan and to maintain at all times in good usable condition oil spill response equipment.

Response Policy

Dispersants have been the main means of response in the past, especially within the Port of Mombasa, and continue to be used when appropriate. Predominantly unfavourable local conditions are, in the main, not conducive to the use of mechanical containment and recovery techniques at sea. However, the merit of these techniques would be considered at the time of a spill and implemented if suitable.

Shoreline clean-up would be achieved by collecting oil and oily waste manually using casual labour equipped with hand tools.



Specialised response equipment owned by KPA is located in Mombasa. This consists of a tug equipped with spraying equipment and a catamaran equipped with boom, spray arms and several skimmers. It is planned that further equipment will be bought in the near future, jointly funded by the resident oil companies and the national authorities. 


The oil industry holds limited stocks of dispersant and sorbent at several refineries. Dispersant spraying resources could be adapted from the fleet of commercially available crop-spraying aircraft. Non-specialised equipment such as bulldozers and front-end loaders could be mobilised easily in most coastal areas and particularly in Mombasa. Additional non-specialised resources would include locally available vacuum trucks and honey-wagons.

Previous Spill Experience

There have been several recent groundings on the reefs outside Mombasa harbour but with no resulting pollution. The most noticeable pollution incident involved the puncture of a shore tank in 1988 spilling 5,000 tonnes of fuel oil into a mangrove creek.


Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes

Spill Response



'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force

Regional & Bilateral Agreements

  • Nairobi Convention (with states of the East African Region).
  • Multilateral agreement with Tanzania and the Seychelles to set up a maritime search & rescue centre in Mombasa. This facility is expected to evolve into a global maritime distress and safety systems centre to respond to sea disasters along the East African coast.

Date of issue: February 2008

Terms & Conditions

These Country & Territory Profiles are provided in good faith as a guide only and are based on information obtained from a variety of sources over a period of time.  This information is subject to change and should, in each case, be independently verified before reliance is placed on it. Country & Territory Profiles may have been re-issued solely to incorporate additional or revised information under one heading only.  Each Profile has therefore not necessarily been completely verified or updated as at the stated Date of Issue.

ITOPF Limited (“ITOPF”) hereby excludes, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability to any person, corporation or other entity for any loss, damage or expense resulting from reliance on or use of these Country & Territory Profiles.

©ITOPF Limited 2018.

These Country & Territory Profiles may be reproduced by any means for non-commercial distribution without addition, deletion or amendment, provided an acknowledgement of the source is given and these Terms & Conditions are reproduced in full. 

These Country & Territory Profiles may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of ITOPF either for commercial distribution or with addition, deletion or amendment.

You are currently offline. Some pages or content may fail to load.