Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) last Sunday rolled out the new schedules for passengers and motor vehicles at the Likoni crossing channel in Mombasa.
According to a statement from KFS, ferry operation were revised to comply with the Presidential directive on the control of the spread of coronavirus and the daily curfew imposed by the government from 7pm to 5am.
In the new arrangement, vehicular and human traffic will be ferried across the channel that connects Mombasa Island to the Mainland south separately and on fixed time table.
The new schedule will now see vehicles cross through the Likoni channel between 11am and 2pm daily.
In the same breadth, pedestrians would be ferried from morning to 11am and after 3pm until the closing time at 6.30pm to beat the 7pm curfew time.
The changes were necessitated by new measures to combat spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at the vital crossing channel which is now under the supervision of a multi-agency team.
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.
On Friday, chaos reigned at the channel when security personnel enforcing social distancing clashed with ferry passengers who were rushing home ahead of the curfew time.
Coast Regional Commissioner (RC) John Elungata said the multi-agency team will enforce safety and security measures at the channel to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Elungata urged ferry users to play their part and co-operate with security personnel and support safeguard measures put in place including observing social distance.
“If members of the public will continue becoming difficult then we might be forced to take drastic measures such as suspending ferry services,” added the Regional Commissioner.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho asked employers to give their workers flexible working hours and release them at least by 3pm so they can reach at their respective homes before curfew.
By Mohamed Hassan