LIKONI FERRY TRAGEDY

Raila orders halt of Likoni dredging to aid recovery efforts

AU envoy says exercise interfering with efforts to recover bodies of Mariam and her daughter.

In Summary

• The dredging is being done to widen and deepen the channel so as to allow bigger ships to dock at the Mombasa port.

• The sand from the dredging exercise is also used to reclaim part of the sea in the ongoing construction of the second container terminal.

AU envoy Raila Odinga when he was briefed by operation commander Lawrance Gituma at the Likoni ferry on Saturday, October 5, 2019.
AU envoy Raila Odinga when he was briefed by operation commander Lawrance Gituma at the Likoni ferry on Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

AU High Representative on Infrastructure Raila Odinga on Saturday ordered the dredging exercise at the Indian Ocean stopped.

He said the exercise is interfering with efforts to recover the bodies of Mariam Kighenda and her four-year-old daughter who perished at the Likoni Channel last Sunday when their car reversed and plunged into the Indian Ocean.

The dredging is being done to widen and deepen the channel so as to allow bigger ships to dock at the Mombasa port.

 
 
 

The sand from the dredging exercise is also used to reclaim part of the sea in the ongoing construction of the second container terminal.

"I want to give an order here that the dredging works stop immediately so that those who are working here can work without interference," Raila said after confirming he was there as the AU High Representative for Infrastructure.

Divers from the Kenya Navy, KPA, Kemfri, KMA and private ones have complained of poor visibility in the ocean because of the mud that is being stirred because of the dredging exercise.

Coincidentally, while Raila was giving the order, a dredger that was conducting the exercise was passing through to the channel to the Mombasa port.

The dredger that is hampering the recovery efforts at the Likoni crossing channel.
The dredger that is hampering the recovery efforts at the Likoni crossing channel.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

Raila said the accident that occurred last Sunday at around 6.15 pm signifies the serious infrastructural problems that Kenya and Africa suffers.

However, he said it is not time to a portion blame.

"Let us try to retrieve the bodies as we condole with the family," Raila said.

 

The ODM leader said he is satisfied with the recovery efforts being undertaken.

"The team is capable of doing the necessary retrieval," said the former PM.

"We say pole to the family. The entire Kenyan nation is in mourning," he said.


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