After the mischance that saw the ramming of a truck into a ferry at Likoni, recently, the Kenya Ferry Service (KFS) is weighing options of installing weighbridges at the coastal facility to eradicate such incidences in the future.
“From mid-next month we shall introduce the weighing of trailers and lorries which use the ferry vehicles in order to prevent accidents.” This is according to MD at the service Musa Musa.
The ferry usually transits three hundred thousand persons, as well as, an average of five thousand to six thousand automobiles to and fro the adjacent islands. Some of the trucks are transit good carriers, en-route to Nairobi and Kampala from Tanzania.
Calls from the Hotelier Community
The Kenya Association of Hotel-keepers and Caterers, at the coast, through its VC Vikram Korla, had cautioned the ferry authority at the culmination of the previous month when the mischance happened, to introduce systems that can work for both trucks and human cargo.
The plan was to have conveyances that can handle the heavy machinery independent of others ferrying persons. Alternatively, they also advise that the truck ferrying passage to extend between late night (10 p.m.) and the small hours of the morning, at 5 a.m.
There is usually bewildering chaos at the ferry crossing when persons infiltrate the carrier even when it is time for trucks to make the crossing. Mr Korla had said that this often leads to persons taking positions where trucks should be whose caustic result is roughing up incidents like the recent one which claimed four lives across the channel, at the end of January 2013.
Even as this recommendation gets into the pre-development stages, the ferry authority is considering incorporating more security devices, with the latest installations having fetched some Sh165 million.
Year by year, KFS allocates Sh60m worth of expenditure for footing the insurance bills of its quintet of ferries, a reason that has it on its toes against another accident.
Already, the agency has secured two weighbridges, worth Sh18m, which Mr. Musa terms as a godsend for it will insure the proper maintenance of the water-to-land conveyance, including safety guards and ramps, which stand prone to damage whenever carriers of extra tonnage buy unscrupulous passage.
This development comes a few months after Likoni Ferry employees emerged from a go slow they had initiated in late 2012, as a result of arrears that they said had hiked beyond the Sh1b mark, and had accumulated beginning 2010.