Traffic woes rocked the Likoni Channel in Mombasa on Wednesday morning after Mv Jambo, Kenya’s biggest ferry, broke down.
Motorists and pedestrians seeking to cross the Indian Ocean to South Coast were forced to queue for long hours to get transport.
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The congestion affected commuters rushing to work, who forced their way into the three available ferries— Mv Nyayo, Mv Harambee and Mv Kwale.
The breakdown has resulted in traffic snarl-up on both sides of the channel as the management struggles to help pedestrians cross the ocean.
Mv Jambo is the biggest ferry in Kenyan and the Kenya Ferry Services relies on deal with congestion at the channel.
The vessel broke down on the Mombasa Island side of the channel after it developed a mechanical problem, according to a KFS official who spoke on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to issue press statements.
The Nation team saw the faulty ferry at the ramp of the channel.
On Wednesday morning, the vessel blocked two other ferries from docking at the Mombasa-Island side, complicating the situation.
Mv Jambo is one of the new ferries that were bought by the government from Turkey a year ago.
It was delivered in July 2017 and it cost the taxpayers Sh2 billion.
It was commissioned on August 7, 2017 and it is now a year and a month old.
This is the second time the ferry has broken down
According to KFS, the vessel developed a problem in one of its engines. A ferry normally has two engines.
Unlike the old ferries, Mv Jambo has washrooms for passengers.
The ferry carries more than 1,600 people at ago and has a capacity to carry 64 vehicles.
It also has two rescue and emergency boats on-board.
The vessel is also fixed with CCTV cameras and has a spacious sitting space on the upper deck with a shade.
A second ferry, MV Safari, is expected to be delivered in October, according to the KFS management.