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Ferry service: Coast Guard takes charge

The Kenya Coast Guard Service assisted by the police will take charge of ferry operations from Friday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the new measure as part of the fresh push by the government to restrict movement.

“With immediate effect, the management of the ferry shall be performed by the Kenya Coast Guard Service, the National Police Service and national government administration officers,” President Kenyatta said.

It is now expected that the new team, comprising Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo, the Coast Guard bosses and local police chiefs, will enforce the Ministry of Transport directive issued on Tuesday that passengers should be ferried in vehicles to ensure social distancing.

More than 300,000 commuters cross the Likoni channel daily in four ferries.

Residents were directed to board public service vehicles while crossing the channel.

“In view of the challenges experienced in maintaining the recommended social distance in the ferries, it is directed that, with effect from today, PSVs be allowed to ferry passengers on board provided that they strictly adhere to the guidelines issued by Health ministry with respect to the fight against the coronavirus outbreak,” Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said in the directive issued on March 24.

The directive was communicated in a circular addressed to Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Bakari Gowa.