Kenya Ferries state of disaster unpreparedness exposed
Kenya Ferries poor state of disaster preparedness has been exposed by the Sunday Likoni Tragedy. The accident that has bomb shelled the whole nation happened in Mombasa County when a mother and a daughter who were on board a Silver Toyota car, were taped by helpless Kenyans drowning in the ocean with no seeming efforts from the authorities to save their poor lives. Not even one was around neither did the ferry crew cared to call for emergency response.
35-year-old Mariam Kigenda and her four-year-old daughter Amanda Mutheu perished on Sunday after their car slid off the ferry and sunk slowly into the deep oceans at around 6 PM. I watched the video and it is evident that the Kenya Ferry’s negligence and reluctance stink like rotten eggs. Don’t you think the lives of Kenyans using these ferries as a means of transport are at risk with this kind of lazy corporation that is supposed to take care of them?
Four days later and the bodies of the victims have not been retrieved. Kenyans on social media have thrown their anger on the various bodies mandated to oversee transport in the country. CS James Macharia has not been spared. With the current situation, if the bodies are not recovered, the Mashujaa Day Celebration which is set to be held on 20th October in Mombasa will be boycotted.
It is very sad that a few meters from the place of accident, the Kenya Navy officers were busy diving into the ocean from helicopters purporting to be practicing to showcase their prowess in the waters to the President during the coming Mashujaa celebrations, a big shame it is. We saw that video of a Good Samaritan trying to swim with a rope to tie it on the car in an attempt to salvage it. Although his efforts bore no fruits after the car got completely submerged, it is proof to us that something could be done if the rescue teams were around as it should be.
The ferries being the only merchant vessels in Mombasa county plying daily overcrowded with people and vehicles across the Mombasa Island and Likoni, Kenya Ferries Limited should be a serious State Corporation to oversee and ensure these operations in the region are efficient and safe. There is a need for an effective institutional framework to provide guidelines and policies about safety regulations and disaster management in the case of accidents during navigations.
I urge the Senate to probe the Management Board, and if the members do not meet the qualifications needed to run this corporation, then it should be disbanded with an immediate effect to save a thousand lives of Kenyans from perishing as a result of their negligence.