The sacking of the entire board of management of Kenya Ferry Services following the recent tragic incident in which a woman and her daughter perished is a step in the right direction.
It demonstrates the government’s concern about the glaring shortcomings in the ferry service. But most importantly, it confirms a desire to see the safety of ferry users quickly enhanced.
The board totally failed to provide the required guidance to this parastatal that thousands of people rely on daily to move between Mombasa Island and the Likoni mainland.
The next logical action should be to streamline the management by selecting qualified and experienced people to run the ferry firm.
We are fully in agreement with Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia that once the new board is constituted, its first task should be to reorganise the management, restructure the firm and audit its operations to boost efficiency and commuter safety.
While picking new board members, the focus should be on identifying only those who are knowledgeable about ferry operations and general management.
Members of such boards must be people who can add value and not joyriders, whose only qualification is being the cronies of top government officials. Only the competent managers should be retained.
The firm operates a handful of ferries and it’s, therefore, a crying shame that the maintenance of these vessels has not been up to scratch.
It is the key duty of management to ensure that the vessels are regularly serviced. There have been cases of ferries stalling midstream and some key equipment not functioning properly. Safety precautions must be stridently enforced to curb stampedes by pedestrians and disorderly embarking by motorists. A rapid rescue team must also be on standby.