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Likoni channel commuters to wait longer for new ferry

Ferry crossing the Mtongwe channel. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Ferry crossing the Mtongwe channel. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Commuters using the Likoni channel will have to wait much longer for the arrival of a second new ferry, which is meant to decongest the busy channel.

The ferry, Mv Safari, was according to earlier plans set to arrive on Thursday before a Mombasa court ordered its construction stopped.

The High Court ordered that the construction of the new ferry be stopped after an insurance company filed a case under a certificate of urgency raising allegations regarding its quality and safety.

Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) managing director Bakari Gowa said the ferry’s construction of the ferry was stopped following the court proceedings.

“We are still pursuing the matter to ensure it is concluded in good time so that we continue with the construction of that vessel. We hope possibly by the end of this month we will be through with the case so that the construction resumes,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Gowa said ferry services on the Mtongwe channel that were halted three weeks ago would resume next week.

The services, which were reintroduced by President Uhuru Kenyatta in March this year, have been suspended many times. The recent suspension followed the transfer of Mv Likoni to the Likoni channel after Mv Kilindini and Mv Kwale developed mechanical problems.

“We are projecting that by next week the two ferries will have been repaired and have the Mv Likoni back at the Mtongwe channel. Mv Kilindini’s steering system is being repaired while Mv Kwale has a problem with its propeller,” said Mr Gowa.

Their withdrawal has left Mv Likoni, Mv Harambee, Mv Nyayo and the new Mv Jambo still in operation.