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September 25, 2018

Women leaders caught up in Likoni ferry blockade vow action to end crisis

Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi dances with Timbwani MCA Mama Mwaka during the launch of Huduma Mashinani programme in Likoni, Mombasa county. /MALEMBA MKONGO
Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi dances with Timbwani MCA Mama Mwaka during the launch of Huduma Mashinani programme in Likoni, Mombasa county. /MALEMBA MKONGO

Three women leaders were caught up in the traffic snarl-up which followed the breakdown of three ferries at the Likoni crossing channel on Wednesday.

They were Youth and Gender CAS Racheal Shebesh, Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi, and Kericho Woman Representative Florence Bore.

The leaders were heading for a function in Likoni hosted by area MP Mishi Mboko before MV Jambo broke down over a technical hitch.

The over 4-hour delay was occasioned after MV Jambo remained at the ramp which accommodates two ferries at a time.

Long queues of vehicles waiting to board the ferries formed as only one ferry could disembark at the ramp.

The women leaders spoke of their experience during the launch of the Likoni Huduma Mashinani programme. They vowed action to end troubles by commuters using the channel.

Bore said that since they now have a first-hand experience of the delays at the channel, they will push for legislation to improve the situation.

She vowed to push for procurement of new ferries as well as work with concerned state agencies on alternative ways of crossing the Indian Ocean.

"We always hear Mishi complain in Parliament about how inconvenient ferries have turned to be and we always take it lightly."

The Kericho MP said will revive the discussion on the Dongo Kundu bypass and will further follow it up to implementation.

Wajir woman rep Fatuma Gedi, though was not among those stuck, said the Transport committee, which she is a member, will deal with the issue.

"I will fight alongside Mishi to have the bypass built and also the government acquire a new ferry," she added.

Ferry breakdowns are commonplace at the Likoni crossing channel albeit the government has put measures to end the delays.

Among the interventions the state has embarked on is the acquisition of more ferries.

A new ferry, MV Safari, was supposed to arrive by August after its construction was given a nod by the Court of Appeal.

The construction was suspended by the High court over safety issues but a three-judge bench lifted the orders.

Mv Jambo was unveiled a year ago and is the one highly depended on to ease transport across the channel.

Kenya Ferry Service MD Bakari Gowa said they are working to ensure that MV Jambo gets back to work soon.

See: [VIDEO] Crisis as three ferries break down at Likoni

Also see: [VIDEO] Ferry breaks down with passengers on board, pushed by tides towards deep sea

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