After Series of motorist accidents that have continually been observed at the Likoni Crossing channel, the Kenya Ferry Services has responded by a bunch of instructions for cars crossing the Likoni channel.
All motorists plying the Likoni and Mtongwe Channel route have been advised to ensure braking systems are functional and the speed is limited to 5kph at ramps approaches.
In addition the drivers have been urged to check the vehicle load limits to avoid overloading, ensure vehicle tires have recommended pressure and grip, and avoid driving into the ferry while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol.
Wide or abnormal loaded vehicles are required to contact the operations department prior to crossings time due to the changing nature of high-water levels.
The Likoni channel operates 24 hours. Motor vehicles, motorbikes, and cyclists’ peak hours are 6:00 am to 9:30 am, 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm with 10 minutes interval. The off-peak hours are 5:00 am – 6:00 am, 9:30 am- 4:00pm with a fifteen minutes wait.
The petroleum and dangerous cargo are required to operate from the island at 9:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 8:30 pm. While from the mainland at 10:00 am, 4:00 pm, and 11:30 pm strictly.
Additional safety measures have been put in place to improve the safety and security of the channel. Ferries are equipped with fixed carbon dioxide systems for engine fires and portable fire extinguishers for different types of fires. There are currently five ferries of a larger capacity that a flat bottomed to guarantee stability.
Major improvements to controls and safety have been instituted; Improved passenger staircases towards the P.S.V terminus, passenger waiting bay at the mainland infrastructure, Persons with Disabilities lane at the mainland, passenger walking bay at the island with a measured loading control space, full-time presence of private guards on boards operating vessels and a passenger waiting bay to ensure controls are adhered to.
The operation area has been fenced to keep off non-ferry users, strong gates to control the crowd at the operation area. There is a 24-hour CCTV surveillance system. Walkthrough metal detectors and X-ray luggage scanner to boost pedestrian screening. Physical search and screening of pedestrians and vehicles boarding the ferries.
The ferry services have ensured that there is regular security awareness to staff and ferry users. There were two cases reported in January 2021 of atrailer and vehicle that plunged into the Indian Ocean raising concerns at the ferry crossing which pushed the ferry service to announce the new measures.