Banjul/Barra commuters decry the use of one ferry

By Fatoumatta K Jallow

Commuters using the Banjul-Barra ferry service have decried the operation of a single ferry which leads to delay.Travelers stampeding into the ferry

Upon receipt of this complaint this reporter visited the Banjul terminal to see what pertains and talked to passengers on Wednesday 28 September 2016.

A number of passengers expressed their concerns to Foroyaa. Isatou Manneh, a vendor said, “I go to Barra every day to sell early in the morning but these days my business is not doing well because only one ferry is running. Before this it would take 25 to 30 minutes to travel from Banjul to Barra but now it takes more than an hour. What makes matters worse is that if the ferry gets to Barra it takes at least two hours before it will come back to Banjul which makes life very difficult for us.”

She added that the ferry normally gets congested and takes passengers way beyond capacity to the extent that the air in the deck is stuffy. This, she said, “happens on every trip of the ferry.”

Speaking to Foroyaa, a student of Essau Lower Basic School living in Banjul said he goes to school at Essau every morning but that he is often late for school because only one ferry is operational and it is very slow at the same time. He said while it used to take 25 to 30 minutes to get to Barra from Banjul the ferry now takes at least an hour. He added that missing the ferry is much worse because you may have to wait for more than two hours for its return. The student said, “This is really delaying our education because sometimes I will arrive after the teacher has already taught two lessons or more.”

Speaking to Foroyaa, one Fatoumatta Touray a teacher said because only one ferry is operational his students are losing, “because I sometimes arrive at school by 10 am only to find most of the class teachers ahead of us in their lessons and the students are really losing out which is not good for them.”

This reporter will talk to the management of the ferry services to find out what the problems are and plan to solve them.