By Sailu Bah
Taxi Drivers and food vendors who have been using the open space in front of the Lamtoro Clinic at Kololi as a car park and selling point are appealing to the authorities to allow them to continue their work at the nearby unused area.
According to reports, the taxi drivers and food vendors have been removed from the open space for the purpose of constructing a new office building for the Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) which is said to be the owner of the said land.
Talking to some of the concerned drivers and vendors on Wednesday, 15 October, this reporter was told that the owners (GTBoard) have allowed them to use the area for more than 11 years and now need it for the construction of an office.
Kanyi Ceesay, one of the advisers or elders at the car park, explained the history of how they came to the place. “Before coming to this place, we have been queuing on the side of the road near the Senegambia Craft Market to collect and drop-off passengers and were then transferred here by the tourism authorities,” said Ceesay.
He said the authorities asked them to use the space as a car park until it is needed by them and that they have been working there for 11 years now.
“We are appealing to them to allow us to use the other area which is not built to continue our operations,” he said.
As for Saidou Baldeh, another taxi driver, they have been using the open space as a garage to collect passengers either on hire (town trip) basis or to take them to the Traffic Lights or Turn Table junctions.
Haddy Jallow, one of the food vendors, who resides in Bijilo, said she sells breakfast at the car park everyday to drivers, passengers and passersby.
She said for them to be completely removed from the area would mean disaster to her and their family as she depends on her small food retail business for their survival.
“We have no problems with them building an office at the place but they should consider allocating a space for us to continue with our business as we have no other place to go to,” she appealed.