Congestion at the busy Likoni channel is set to ease soon as one of the new ferries purchased by the government from Turkey is ready for shipment.
The MV Jambo is expected to be transported to Kenya this month and will be officially launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July.
The ferry is at the Ozata Shipyard in Turkey and is expected to arrive in July, the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) posted on its Facebook page.
The KFS added that the new vessel will be transported by another ship.
A second ferry, the MV Safari will be delivered on November 3, KFS management has said.
The vessels were purchased from Turkey for Sh1.9 billion and will bring the total number of ferries at the Likoni crossing to seven.
They are expected to help decongest the sea channel that transports an estimated 330,000 people and 5,000 vehicles every day.
“Our team is in Turkey to inspect the progress and the construction, which is complete for the first ferry. The shipment of the MV Jambo will start in early June and we expect it to arrive by July 27,” said KFS boss Bakari Gowa in a past interview.
According to designs seen by the Nation, each ferry will have a seating capacity of 1,391 passengers and a designated area for disabled people, the elderly and expectant women.
Currently, commuters – including the sick – must stand while travelling in some of the ferries, including the MV Nyayo, MV Harambee and MV Kilindini.
The new vessels can carry 64 vehicles and will have two rescue and emergency boats on board.
Unlike the current ferries, the new ones will also have toilets for passengers.
“In the new ferries, passengers will be on the upper deck and vehicles in the lower one,” Mr Gowa said.