Commuters to wait longer for Mtongwe ferry services

Passengers disembark from Mv Likoni at the Island Side of the Mtongwe Channel in Mombasa in this photo taken on 22nd January 2019. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

The Mtongwe ferry channel that was set to resume its services last month is yet to be opened to the public.

A month ago, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani told the National Assembly’s Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing that the facility would be handed over to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) by early June.

Mtongwe ferry chairman Michael Ogwambo said the channel remains closed with the public barred from accessing it. The ferry services were suspended on October 15, 2021, following safety concerns.

“We had high hopes because it has been ten months now without the availability of that facility. But that is yet to happen,” said Mr Ogwambo.

He noted that residents are risking their lives by using undesignated routes to get to the Likoni Footbridge to cross to Mombasa Island. The closure of Mtongwe channel has resulted in congestion partly at the Likoni channel.

“Those that are directly responsible to the facility told us the channel is yet to be opened blaming it on the shortage of the ferries,” said Mr Ogwambo.

In his statement last month, CS Yatani was responding to a query about the facility by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and his Likoni counterpart Mishi Mboko.

Mr Yatani has assured the leaders the facility was 90 percent ready with designs of the ramps on the island's side of the channel also completed.

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