Ferry company improves security with new scanners


(Posted 25th May 2015)

According to information received overnight from Mombasa has the Kenya Ferry Service company as of yesterday started using scanners which are for passengers boarding on foot and their bags or parcels they carry. While it may delay the boarding exercise, and there have already been such suggestions that there are probably not enough such machines to cope with scanning each and every passenger in particular during peak periods when commuters stream across the channel to reach their work places, this is a major step in ensuring ferry security. Additional CCTV cameras too were reportedly installed and a new, dedicated police post established to deal with petty crime such as pick pocketing. The cost of the machines was given as in excess of 100 million Kenya Shillings.

The question of how vehicles can be more effectively scanned however is still a matter of debate, as cursory inspections of car boots and glove compartments may not yield complete results in detecting potential trouble.

Tourism sources were swift to express support for the new security measures, one calling it a step in the right direction while insisting that in order to bridge the time gap between now and the opening of the new bypass to the South coast tourist vehicle should be given preferential access to the ferry without having to pay for the privilege.

If we want to get our tourists back we must make very big concessions for them. We must give them the feeling that we remove all obstacles and give them a smooth ride while they are in Mombasa. The ferry should play their part in achieving that’.

Mombasa’s award winning beaches south of the city along Diani can at present only be reached via the Likoni ferry, or else by flying to the Ukunda aerodrome and delays in the ferry crossing have been a major factor for complaints when the transfer times from and to the resorts were felt to be unreasonably long. Presently over 300.000 commuters and more than 6.000 vehicles, according to figures provided by the ferry company, cross the channel both ways.