Commuters call for bridge completion after stampede

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 00:00 |
A stalled ferry at the Likoni channel. Photo/PD/BONFACE MSANGI

Commuters on the Likoni Channel are asking the government to expedite the planned construction of a pedestrian floating bridge a day after a stampede left 27 injured.

Work on the proposed Sh1.5 billion Likoni floating footbridge that will link Mombasa Island to the mainland south is expected to start soon.

Nicholas Wamalwa daily user of the ferry who works at the Mombasa central business district, says the government should look for an alternative traffic congestion solution that has taken toll on hundreds of daily commuters

“We want a permanent solution like a bridge. If a bridge is built will help reduce the perennial congestion at the crossing channel and allow residents to access Mombasa Island and the mainland south with a lot of ease,” said Wamalwa.

The project will be undertaken by the State Department of Infrastructure through its implementing agency, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).

The contractor, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), is already on-site at the Liwatoni area of Mombasa where the floating bridge dubbed ‘Likoni Floating Pedestrian Bridge’ will start towards the mainland.

Leonard Mukanda, another Likoni resident says the bridge will serve commuters especially those who live at Mtongwe and South Coast areas.

“If they build a bridge, it will ease traffic congestion we have been experiencing,” said Mukanda.

Scores of people were injured on Tuesday after a stampede occurred at the Likoni Crossing Channel.

Two ferries, MV Safari and MV Kwale collided. Commuters, in panic, caused a stampede that left 27 people with injuries.

Kenya Red Cross chairman Mahmoud Noor confirmed the 27 were treated and discharged.

“They were treated and allowed to go home as they had minor injuries,” said Noor.

KFS yesterday said the ferry was undergoing repairs and after that it will be inspected before resuming operations.

It is estimated that more than 300,000 people and 6,000 vehicles cross the busy channel daily using MV Jambo, MV Kwale, MV Likoni MV Kilindini  and MV Nyayo.

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