Likoni Ferry Decongesting

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Mombasa residents have been urged to use the Liwatoni footbridge which links the island to the mainland as a way of decongesting the busy Likoni ferry.

Mombasa County Commissioner, Lucas Mwanza noted that the Sh1.9 billion bridge, constructed by the National Government is safer and more convenient for pedestrians.

“The objective of the bridge is to ease the pressure off the overcrowded Likoni ferry during the current covid-19 pandemic,” said Mwanza.

Mwanza, further revealed that the government will increase security by involving a multi-agency team led by a police commander to ensure the safety of the pedestrians and to keep away idlers and criminals.

This follows the stampede at the ferry that took place last week on Wednesday evening where several people were injured and rushed to various hospitals.

The County Commissioner was speaking when he led the county security team and officials of Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) on the tour of the Likoni ferry and Liwatoni footbridge.

According to Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) Managing Director Bakari Gowa, the stampede was caused by inpatient pedestrians at the waiting bay who disregarded security protocols and forced their way to board the ferries.

“It is imperative to enhance security at both sides of the channel to avoid such incidents, “said Gowa.

He said at the moment approximately 216,000 people are using the footbridge on a daily basis and that they intend to increase the figure to 300,000 in order to reduce human congestion at the Likoni channel.

KeNHA Deputy Regional Director (Coast) Howard M’mayi, assured area residents that necessary safety measures have been put in place on the first pedestrian footbridge to be built in the country as part of the measures to combat the covid-19 pandemic.

“The bridge was constructed to end the perennial human congestion at the vital busy Likoni crossing channel and also to manage social distancing at the peak of the pandemic,” said M’mayi.

The bridge is a composite structure designed for pedestrians only whose deck comprises of a 529 m long floating section, and 54 m long approaches on either side of the floating span.

The floating suspension bridge is connected by pins and hinges and guard rails installed on either side of the deck to ensure pedestrian safety.

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