Ferries’ agency set to start work on Likoni cable cars

TUESDAY OCTOBER 13 2015

The express cable car service project in Mombasa is expected to start before the end of the year.

Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Musa Hassan Musa said the project is expected to be complete in a year. He told the Nation by phone on Sunday that the cable car system would ease transport for passengers at the Likoni crossing channel.

“By December next year cable cars would be in use. The number of people using the channel has risen significantly,” said Mr Musa.

In addition, two new ferries worth Sh1.3 billion are being built in Turkey for use between the island and South Coast mainland.

Turkish firm Tersanececik Limited has already started work on the ferries.

“We are dealing with approximately 300,000 passengers and 6,000 vehicles every day. This numbers are likely to double if the pattern in the past four years is anything to go by,” he said.

Mr Musa said the ongoing construction of the Dongo Kundu by-pass is expected to open up the vast Kwale County that leads to the neighbouring Tanzania.

He said it would also act as a link for Kenya on the Cairo-South Africa corridor.

FERRY TARRIFS

At the same time, the Association of Importers of Kenya has asked the government not to endorse the proposed ferry tariffs, saying they are unconstitutional and unrealistic in the prevailing economic times.

“The new toll charges are likely to scare away local and international investors and affect the tourism industry. They should, therefore, be suspended immediately,” said the association’s national Chairman Peter Mambembe.

Speaking in a telephone interview, the official said it is improper for the agency to increase the tariffs during these lean economic times as this would in turn make the cost of doing business through the Port of Mombasa expensive.

Mr Mambembe said that apart from a few stakeholders and industry players, who attended the ferry agency’s meeting that came up with the charges, there was no public participation as required by the Constitution.

“Be notified that the hefty charges would deal a devastating blow to the tourism industry, which is grappling with low international tourists arrivals.

“Importers using the Likoni channel through Lunga Lunga border would boycott using the port due to the high cost of doing business,” he said.

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