Kenya: Joho Breaks Silence on Likoni Ferry Disaster

A screenshot of a video that captured the moment a vehicle with two occupants submerged into the Indian Ocean after sliding off a ferry at Likoni Channel.

Seventy-two hours after the ferry tragedy, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has finally broken his silence calling for patience as the retrieval mission slowly progresses.

The governor has received a lot of flak for keeping mum about the incident at the Likoni Channel even as ferry safety measures have been called to question for putting thousands of Mombasa commuters at risk.

On Sunday at 6:15pm, 35-year-old Mariam Kighenda, and her daughter Amanda Mutheu, 4, a student at MM Shah Academy, drowned, when their vehicle a Toyota Isis, registration number KCB 289C, on board MV Harambee ferry rolled off into the sea, midstream at the busy crossing in Mombasa.

"It has been a painful wait for the family and relatives of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter as rescue operations intensify at the Likoni Channel. We understand the complexity of the search operations being the reason for the delay, and therefore we are asking for patience. We are part of the multi-agency team involved in the search operations," Mr Joho said.

The Mombasa governor also urged the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) to enhance safety measures and consider mounting movable barriers to secure cars that may develop mechanical problems.

"This is not the first time this is happening. My condolences go to the family of Miriam," Mr Joho said.

The recovery exercise has resumed Wednesday morning with Government spokesman Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna saying that the divers are from Kenya Navy, Kenya Ferry Services, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Coast Guard and the Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.

Mombasa County said its inspectorate team is helping in crowd control and offering logistical support as its team was not trained in deep sea diving.

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