Ferry services at the busy Likoni channel in Mombasa returned to normality on Sunday after two vessels, which had mechanical problems, were repaired and taken back.
The absence of MV Nyayo and MV Harambee had disrupted services, with motorists spending hours before accessing the channel on Saturday.
The MV Nyayo wire rope developed a problem, leading to its withdrawal while the MV Harambee was having its clutch fixed. This left the MV Kwale and MV Kilindini as the only ones operational, leading to a massive snarl-up, with hundreds of people stranded.
The management had to bring in MV Likoni, which operates at the Mtongwe channel to hasten operations at the busy crossing.
Hundreds of passengers and motorists were stranded for hours, leading to a massive traffic jam that snaked its way into the Mombasa town centre, a distance of about two kilometres.
On Sunday, Kenya Ferry Services public communication officer Aaron Mutiso said apart from the breakdown of the ferries, the influx of commuters at the channel was as a result of the back to school rush.
“Everything is moving well. We have worked on the two ferries and the operation is moving smoothly. We regret any inconvenience caused to our users but we are now on top of things,” he said.
Last Tuesday, services at the Mtongwe channel, which were re-launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in February, were disrupted after the landing platform (pontoon) on the island was swept away by heavy currents.
Following the incident, which also saw the gangway broken, the MV Likoni, which carries passengers at the Mtongwe channel, was forced to re-route to the Likoni channel.