• State should constitute a team to oversee operations at sea to prevent tragedies and respond to emergencies.
• Removing the staff is not enough, lives already lost.
In a court of law, if you admit before a judge that indeed you committed an offence, the judge will automatically jail or fine you.
The Kenya Ferry Services team led by managing director Bakari Gowa admitted that the three ferries put lives of users at risk. There is also a 2016 report by the Auditor General that the ferries were a disaster.
Secondly, KFS contravenes the International Safety Management by failing to service its vessels exposing passengers to risk. Thirdly, the service did not meet the set ISM recommendations to ensure the vessels dry-dock after 8,500 hours of operation.
Lloyd’s Register had struck off the three ferries from their register for being unseaworthy in 2017. Therefore, let the government constitute a team from the Coast Guard, Seafarers’ Association, the Kenya Navy, South Engineering and other bodies involved with the sea and ferries to oversee the future of ferries. If it took 13 days to retrieve the bodies of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu from the sea, how long will it take to retrieve 100 bodies, if God forbid, another tragedy occurs?
No wonder Likoni users complain that the engine sometimes stops and the ferry can drift in the sea aimlessly endangering the lives of users. With all those reports on the desk of KFS management and they refused to act, let them be put behind bars for putting the lives of Likoni ferry users at risk.
Simply sending management home does not solve the problem as they will get jobs elsewhere and become lax since no serious action was taken.
With all these reports warning that the vessels are a danger to the public, the two lives would have been saved had appropriate action been taken by the service as advised by several organisations.