By Sailu Bah
Drivers at the Sanchaba SulayJobe car park have expressed grief and concern over the poor condition of their car park which they said is in dire need of repair and is hampering the smooth running of their work.
They also reported that the garbage dumped beside the Car Park poses a threat to the health of drivers and passengers.
Speaking to the drivers on Tuesday 26th August 2014, at the Sanchaba SulayJobe Car Park, they said the car park is in a very bad condition and showed the potholes, mud, pools of stagnant water as obvious reasons why their work is being made difficult.
Samba Gaye, a Commercial Vehicle driver (GellehGelleh), said the poor condition of the car park is a major issue that is stopping passengers from coming into the garage as they (passengers) prefer to stand beside the road and wait for the vehicles.
“The garage is very muddy with stagnant water all over the place with odour coming from the garbage dumped in the area which is causing passengers to stand on the road to wait for our vehicles, which is not the place for us to stop because it is ‘a no parking area,” he explained.
Sherifo Manjang, a commercial Van driver (GellehGelleh) also harped on similar comments and further stressed the need for a solution to these problems.
Alagie Janha, the head of the Taxi drivers unit, said the car park and the market are too close to each other. He said he is pleading for the authorities responsible to demarcate the place by erecting a fence between the car park and the market in order to avoid vendors throwing rotten fish and filthy things into the garage.
“The garbage container is a big problem for us, people from different places come to throw all sorts of filthy things in it and now that it is full, people have started throwing dirty things on the ground, which is producing odour.” He explained.
Janha said that the garbage container used to be collected by the Area council on weekly basis, but now, it takes months for them to collect it. He said things are getting worse and it would continue to be bad if it is left there uncollected.
Kebba Gaye, deputy head of the garage said they are the ones running the garage and they cannot even do their wok properly because the air pollution is creating a bad oduor, which he opined, is a threat to their health.
Gaye added that the garage was built by their Executive committee and the drivers with the help of the then acting Alkalo, Mr.ModouTouray, who passed away early this year.
Ba Jim Camara the head of the Garage (chef De garage) also reiterated the major concerns of his committee.
He said his committee has been making lots of efforts to remedy the problems but they cannot do it alone because of inadequate funds.
“Since the beginning of the rainy season, I have spent nothing less than D7000 on stones and sand for the maintenance of the garage but still now things are getting worse.” He affirmed.
Camara said that they used to collect D10 from the drivers who come to the garage to make a trip but the money is used to settle drivers’ problems, such as fines imposed on drivers, their health and other related issues.
“I have called on the Brikama Area Council several times to help us remove the garbage and the filth in the garage but still to no avail, even today I called them but still there is no positive response,” he lamented.
He also said that the drivers are complaining about the diversion of route which he said, is a directive from the National Transport controllers’ Association, which is really affecting the drivers, because the road they use is not in good condition and it compels drivers to go for maintenance which he said is an additional cost.
“The National Transport Controllers’ association, gave directive to us, not to use the good road that gave us easy access to Serrekunda, but rather to use a road which is in a very bad condition due to some issues they said and we are pleading for the government to intervene and help us use the good road which was built by the government,” he urged.
Pa Hassan Jobe, the Alkalo said he was not aware of the situation in the garage but promised to go to the garage and meet the drivers to know their plight.
“I will contact the councilor for Sukuta ward, Ebrima Cham, who is in charge of the ward, on the issue of forwarding the concerns of the drivers to the council. I will also try to go to the area council to meet with the Authorities responsible to remedy the problem,” promised Alkalo Jobe.