Mtongwe ferry operation stalled after pontoon breakdown

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mtongwe ferry

Operations at the newly launched Mtongwe ferry channel have been disrupted after a pontoon was swept away by heavy waves of the Indian Ocean.

This has greatly affected ferry commuters who were just adjusting to the new channel that was re-opened in February by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.

The channel had been closed after two ferries operating at the channel were decommissioned in 2012 after it was declared dilapidated.

The pontoon is said to have been carried away by water after two pillars that balance it were swept away by heavy tides.

Nobody was injured in the midnight incident.

Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Bakari Gowa said the pillars were overpowered by the heavy tides at the ocean and they collapsed.

“At the moment, operations at the mainland will proceed but the Bandari side will remain closed for few days,” said Gowa.

Gowa said the pontoon could not work without the support of the pillars and therefore it also sank into the ocean.

He however said that operations at the channel were ongoing after the landing side was re-routed to the Likoni channel.

“We know it will inconvenience people but we will be ferrying people from the Mtongwe channel to Likoni channel.

The journey between the two points which are about 3 kilometers apart will take at least 30 minutes.

Gowa revealed that the company has already deployed a team of engineers to restore operations.

He further said the Ministry of transport and infrastructure has also deployed its top engineers who will assess the damage before reporting back to the Cabinet Secretary.

He said the engineers will also assist in the rebuilding the pontoons.

Gowa said the Company is however working on a permanent solution that includes construction of landing ramps.

He however said KFS does not have adequate land for the construction and therefore are sourcing out the extra land from residents who are willing to sell their land.

“We have KES 120 million for building ramps and if we get enough land, it will only take four months to have them operational,” said Gowa.

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