A team from the Kenya Ferry Services is in China to inspect Sh44 million surveillance cameras to be installed on vessels operating at the Likoni and Mtongwe channels.
KFS Managing Director Hamisi Gowa said the video surveillance are to be delivered by July.
“They will be installed on one ferry after the other in a major exercise that will take three months,” Mr Gowa said.
In an interview with Nation Mr Gowa said the video cameras will enhance surveillance on the vessels.
“It will enable security personnel monitor each and every move on the ferries,” the MD said.
Mr Gowa said services at the Mtongwe Channel are expected to resume in July after the rehabilitation of MV Kilindini that will be docking by end of June. Mv Kwale which is to operate at Mtongwe is also undergoing modification to ease access of all vehicles.
Four ferries are operating at the busy Likoni channel as Mv Nyayo is under maintenance.
Mr Gowa said KFS was awaiting the Ministry of National Treasury and that of Transport to give a letter of government support and Cabinet approval for the installation of Sh5.8 billion cable cars to start.
“By end of the month the issue would have been concluded,” Mr Gowa said.
The ground breaking for the project will be done before installation starts in about two months.
He said a KFS team that had left for Turkey to inspect the building a new ferry-Mv Safari was back in the country.
“The super structure is complete. The installation of piping is 70 percent done,” he said.
Mv Safari is to be shipped into the country in the next three months.
The vessel is to ease congestion at the busy Likoni Channel.
The government paid a Turkish firm Sh2 billion for the construction of MV Jambo which was delivered in August last year and MV Safari whose construction had been halted following a court case. MV Safari had been slated to arrive in the country last November.
Last year, High Court judge Eric Ogola stopped KFS from continuing with the construction of MV Safari pending hearing and determination of a petition by Bonriz Insurance Marine Surveyors Ltd.
Bonriz opposed the construction of the ferry by Turkish firm Ozata Tersanecik San Ve Tic Ltd on the grounds that some materials being used were substandard and the vessel would endanger the lives of the users.
In April, the Court of Appeal set aside orders halting the construction of the ferry,
Yesterday, Mr Gowa was hopeful the ferry will ease congestion at the Likoni Channel and improve services.
Some 300,000 people cross and 5800 vehicles cross the Likoni channel daily and Mr Gowa said the figures could rise due to Ramadhan.
The MD said the ministry had approved the expansion of ferry services to other regions including Diani in Kwale, Kilifi town, Malindi, Lamu, Lake Turkana and Lake Victoria.
“We will start with the coastal route, amu and South Coast, before moving to inland,” Mr Gowa said.
He said a feasibility study is to be done from July “to know which components to be used.”
He said KFS will outsource the ferry services for other regions and only handle the landing and the vessels terminals.
He said the funds for the cable cars were available.
Trapos Limited, who are the sponsors of the project got into concession agreement of the multi-billion shilling project with KFS last December.
The construction was to take two years from May with commuters using the busy Likoni channel in Mombasa expected to start enjoying the services from 2020.
The government has already settled on an Austrian based company, Doppelmayr Group to handle the installation of the technology project.
Commuters will cross the 500m channel in about three minutes as they enjoy a panoramic view of the channel at about 100 metres above the ocean.
They will pay between Sh20 and Sh100 depending on the mode and type of operation.
Once installed, the project which is expected to decongest the busy Likoni channel will be handled by Likoni Cable Cars Express Ltd for 25 years.
After the 25 years concession, KFS or any eligible company will upgrade, maintain and ensure delivery to the users.
The express link will have 22 cable cars which will carry 38 passengers per cabin. It will carry 11,000 commuters per hour in both directions which will be a total of 180,000 people a day.