FERRY CROSSING STILL DIFFICULT FOR TRAVELLERS

By Sailu Bah

Travellers who commute between   Banjul and Barra are experiencing delay because of the use of Boat to cross from Barraone ferry which cannot dock at Barra when the tide is low.

This prompted this reporter to visit the Ferry Terminal on Wednesday 17th December 2014. Travellers claim that they usually wait for hours after buying their tickets while the ferry remains inoperative due to low tide. Modou Jobe a traveller living in the North Bank region said he always comes to Banjul to work and goes back home, but according to him, the plying of one Ferry is a major constraint. “Sometimes I use boats because I have no other choice. The boats are very expensive because you have to pay D20, for boarding and disembarking, for a man to carry you up to the boat to prevent you from being wet. You then spend D25 for Boat Fare. Hence D45 is spent on a single trip and a return trip would amount to D90 which is very expensive for low income earners like me,” he lamented.

Sirreh Samateh explained that she is a gardener who comes to sell her products in the urban area. “Sometimes we spend hours waiting for the ferry to dock. Some of my colleagues who cannot wait use the boats which are very expensive,” she decried.

Some of the students from different schools also raised similar concerns. They said that the boats are very expensive. They all urged the authorities to work on having another ferry or to try and find a better solution to this problem.

This reporter had earlier approached the Public Relations Officer of the Gambia Ports Authority on the concerns raised by travellers. In response, Ansumana Gibba said Kanilai is under Total maintenance which is scheduled to be completed by the end of December 2014 or early January 2015. Mr. Gibba said this will help in minimizing the problems of crossing.