FERRY BREAKDOWN PROMPTS CALLS TO SPEED UP CONSTRUCTION OF LIKONI BRIDGE
(Posted 20th March 2018)
The breakdown yesterday of both one of the new ferries launched late last year and of one of the older types again caused massive traffic delays in both directions for commuters trying to get off or onto Mombasa island from the southern mainland.
Clutch and engine problems respectively were cited by sources from Mombasa as the cause of the ferries being taken out of service for emergency repairs, sadly a very common situation.
Users of the Mtongwe Channel ferry were also left stranded as their main means to cross with ease, MV Likoni, was pulled over to Likoni to ferry pedestrians across the channel.
Plans are underway to build both a cable car across the channel as well as a bridge but both projects are years from completion leaving commuters and tourists heading to one of Africa’s finest beach locations, Diani, at the mercy of the Kenya Ferry Company, which just does not get out of the bad headlines.
Appeals by the company’s Managing Director for patience fell apparently on deaf ears as clearly the patience of long suffering commuters has run out.
It is estimated that over 6.000 vehicles and up to 350.000 passengers cross the channel every day and the breakdown of ferries has for long been a thorn in the side of the tourism industry and people living on both sides of the channel which forms the entrance to Kenya’s main seaport.