Crisis looming as second ferry is withdrawn from Likoni channel

A Ferry at the Likoni chanell PHOTO COURTESY

A crisis is looming at the Likoni ferry crossing channel after one of the oldest ferries, MV Nyayo was withdrawn from operating on Monday.

In a notice seen by Baraka FM, KFS has said that MV Nyayo has been withdrawn for maintenance works which are expected to take upto two weeks,

“We wish to inform the public that from Monday, February 3, 2020, Mv Nyayo will be going mandatory maintenance at African Marine and General engineering company limited” read the statement.

However, the Kenya Ferry Services has downplayed the concerns of a looming crisis insisting that the crisis can be avoided if ferry users do not use the channel during rush hours.

Users have been advised to avoid rush hours in the morning between 6:30 am- 8:00 am and in the evening between 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm in order to avoid any kind of delay.

MV Nyayo becomes the second ferry to be withdrawn from the channel is less than two months, last month, MV Harambee was withdrawn after transport Cabinet secretary James Macharia ordered its withdrawal.

Before its withdrawal, there was drama at the channel after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Hajj refused to board the dilapidated vessel that was subject of criticism after a vehicle fell from the ferry and plunged into the ocean killing Mariam Kigenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu.

This comes less than six months since the KFS board suspended the Mtongwe ferry services citing plans to repair the pontoon,
ferry landing platforms, pillars, and the gangways.

MV Nyayo, Harambee and Kilindini which are the oldest ferries in the channel were deregistered from the Lloyds register over safety concerns in 2007.