By Muhammed Sailu Bah
Following the recent publication of the complaints by commuters at the Banjul-Barra ferry crossing regarding the long delays, Mr. Omar Touray, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the Ferry Service under the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), confirmed that one of the two vessels had a breakdown but is now working.
Talking to this reporter on the phone, Mr. Touray said a ferry is operated by a machine and that as such there can always be a breakdown at any time.
“Johe started operating a few days ago and people should understand that the ferry has a machine and can have a breakdown any moment,” he said.
Mr. Touray said GPA has always been trying to make sure that the ferries are in good working condition to serve the people.
Since there are only two functional ferries plying the Banjul-Barra crossing, when one has a breakdown, it affects traffic and results in overcrowding and congestion in terminals and vessels as well as delays in arrival and departure time.
The Ferry Service PRO, however, complained that the media is always interested in portraying the problems of the ferries but hardly do they feature the improvements and progress that they have made.
When told that reporters have always been finding it difficult to have access to officials of public institutions, including PROs, to give them the opportunity to talk about their institutions, the Ferry Service spokesperson said no one has ever visited his office for such a purpose.