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State starts repairs at Mtongwe ferry crossing

COAST
By - | April 24th 2013

By Patrick Beja

Mombasa, Kenya: The Government has awarded a contract for the repair and upgrading of ferry landing infrastructure at the Mtongwe ferry crossing.

Ferry services across Mtongwe channel in Mombasa collapsed two years ago following the breakdown of the landing infrastructure — gangway and pontoons — leaving commuters to the South Coast west of the Likoni ferry crossing stranded. The Mtongwe Ferry crossing is known for the disaster in the early 1990s when over 250 commuters died when a ferry sank midstream.

However, commuters will have to wait for a year for the completion of the repairs and upgrade estimated to cost more than Sh280 million.

Kenya Ferry Services (KFS), which operates the Mtongwe and Likoni ferries, confirmed yesterday a contractor, Foundation Pilling Limited, was rehabilitating the facilities. KFS communications manager Elizabeth Wachira said the repairs would take 52 weeks.

“Repair and upgrading of Mtongwe gangway and pontoons has commenced. The duration is 52 weeks,” Wachira confirmed.

Mtongwe residents have been forced to use the Likoni ferries after KFS suspended the services following the breaking down of the pontoons.

At the same time, the same contractor is upgrading ramps at Likoni channel at about Sh200 million to improve the landing of ferries. The infrastructure is meant to allow more ferries to land.

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