Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata has reiterated that the decision by the Mombasa County Covid-19 Emergency Response Committee to direct human traffic towards the Sh.1.9 billion Likoni pedestrian floating footbridge is aimed at quelling the congestion witnessed at the Likoni ferry channel.
He said the goal of the project is to ease pressure of the overcrowded Likoni ferries during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Elungata said the floating bridge is for the exclusive use of pedestrians as an alternative to the ferries noting that enforcing social distancing at the vital crossing channel has been a nightmare for the authorities since the outbreak of the Covid-19 disease in March 2020.
The Coast Region administrator was responding to the remarks protest by political leaders who said the commuters are being forced to use the facility.
Mombasa senator Mohamed and his Kwale counterpart Senator Issa Juma boy earlier said the commuters should be left to decide on which means to use to cross the Indian Ocean channel.
Senator Faki said he has written a protest letter to the county government of Mombasa and Mombasa County Covid-19 emergency committee asking for the revocation of the mandatory directive for the pedestrian ferry users to use the Likoni floating bridge during the morning and evening peak hours.
Kenya Ports Authority Acting MD Eng. Rashid Salim said they have put in place all safety measures to ensure there is safety to the pedestrians using the facility and also to increase morning and evening peak hours.
Elungata urged pedestrian crossing either side to ensure they use Liwatoni bridge and avoid the traffic congestion that has been witnessed at the Likoni ferry channel.
He urged security agencies to ensure the directive is fully adhered to, to ensure Mombasa and the entire Coast region does not carry the burden of increased Covid-19 cases in the county.
It is estimated that more than 300,000 people and 6,000 vehicles cross the busy Likoni channel daily using MV Jambo, MV Kwale, MV Likoni, MV Kilindini and MV Nyayo.