The Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) has published a set of safety rules that users of the ferries operating the Likoni Channel must adhere to.
This comes two weeks after a vehicle sunk into the Indian Ocean after slipping off a faulty ferry, killing a mother, Miriam Kighenda, and her daughter, Amanda Mutheu, who were inside the vehicle.
Consequently, KFS came under a lot of heat for operating ferries with faulty ramps, but the Service also noted that Kenyans fail to follow safety rules while crossing the channel.
Top on the list of the safety rules that KFS published on Monday is the need to observe a 30Km/Hr speed limit within the ferry area.
KFS also advised motorists to ensure that their vehicles’ braking system is in proper order. It is suspected that Kighenda’s sunken car encountered some braking hitches, preventing her from stopping the car when it started reversing into the Ocean.
Another rule directed at motorists is that they should lower vehicle windows while aboard. Also of importance is that motorists should switch off their vehicle engines.
KFS further advised motorists to alight from their vehicles while on the ferry and to only re-enter the vehicles once the ferry is stationary and ready for passengers to alight.
Kenyans using the ferries have expressed scepticism in their safety while aboard and have called for an alternative road bridge to be constructed.
The Likoni Channel is serviced by four ferries which transport over 300,000 pedestrians and over 6,000 vehicles.
The drowning of Kighenda and Amanda is not the first death incident at the same Channel.
In April 1994, MV Mtongwe ferry capsized, killing over 270 people who were on board the ferry that was overloaded.
Other vehicles have also slipped off the ferries in the past, but no casualties have been encountered from such incidents before.