Mtongwe ferry service to be reopened

By O’Brien Kimani

The government has lined up a three-pronged approach to deal with congestion at the Likoni crossing channel.

The planned roads, cable cars and new ferries are expected to cost around 40 billion shillings.

Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera says two new ferries under construction in Turkey will be delivered early next year while feasibility study for the cable car project is ongoing.

The Mtongwe Ferry Service will be reopened later this month, almost five years since it was de-commissioned.

Due to the rapid growth of business and years on under-development, services at the Likoni crossing channel that links Mombasa Island and the South Coast has deteriorated to alarming levels.

The crossing channel is served by five ferries that suffer persistent mechanical breakdowns.

MV Harambee which is the oldest has been out of service for almost two years undergoing extensive rehabilitation was commissioned Wednesday.

Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera says the government has lined up a combination of projects to be implemented in the next four years to end the congestion at the Likoni channel.

Estimates by the Kenya Ferry Services indicate that more than 300,000 commuters and 5,800 vehicles use the crossing daily.

The government has already kicked off the construction of the Dongo Kundu bypass while a feasibility study for a two billion shillings cable car is ongoing.

In two weeks time, the Mtongwe Ferry Service is expected to come on line after a four year closure to facilitate expansion and modernization of the service.

Nyakera says two new ferries under construction in Turkey will be delivered in the second quarter of 2017, easing pressure on the five ferries that ply the Likoni channel.


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