Traffic woes rock Likoni Channel as Mv Jambo breaks down

Wednesday September 12 2018

The grounded Mv Jambo lies in a ramp on Mombasa Island side of the Likoni channel on September 12, 2018. PHOTO | MOHAMED AHMED | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Traffic woes rocked the Likoni Channel in Mombasa on Wednesday morning after Mv Jambo, Kenya’s biggest ferry, broke down.

Motorists and pedestrians seeking to cross the Indian Ocean to South Coast were forced to queue for long hours to get transport.


The congestion affected commuters rushing to work, who forced their way into the three available ferries— Mv Nyayo, Mv Harambee and Mv Kwale.

The breakdown has resulted in traffic snarl-up on both sides of the channel as the management struggles to help pedestrians cross the ocean.

Mv Jambo is the biggest ferry in Kenyan and the Kenya Ferry Services relies on deal with congestion at the channel.


Mv Jambo is stuck at the ramp after developing mechanical problems. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The vessel broke down on the Mombasa Island side of the channel after it developed a mechanical problem, according to a KFS official who spoke on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to issue press statements.

The Nation team saw the faulty ferry at the ramp of the channel.

On Wednesday morning, the vessel blocked two other ferries from docking at the Mombasa-Island side, complicating the situation.

Mv Jambo is one of the new ferries that were bought by the government from Turkey a year ago.

It was delivered in July 2017 and it cost the taxpayers Sh2 billion.

1,600 PEOPLE

It was commissioned on August 7, 2017 and it is now a year and a month old.


It took the intervention of Tag boat kiboko II to rescue Mv Jambo. PHOTOS | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

This is the second time the ferry has broken down

According to KFS, the vessel developed a problem in one of its engines. A ferry normally has two engines.

Unlike the old ferries, Mv Jambo has washrooms for passengers.

The ferry carries more than 1,600 people at ago and has a capacity to carry 64 vehicles.

It also has two rescue and emergency boats on-board.


Mv Nyayo struggles to ferry passengers and vehicles across Likoni Channel after its 'big brother' Mv Jambo broke down. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The vessel is also fixed with CCTV cameras and has a spacious sitting space on the upper deck with a shade.

A second ferry, MV Safari, is expected to be delivered in October, according to the KFS management.