Banjul Mayor meets stakeholders on Big Lorries, Road Conditions

By MUHAMMED SAILU BAH
The Mayor of the Banjul City Council last Friday convened a meeting
with the police, head of Banjul taxi park and representatives ofMayor Abdoulie Bah
Transport Union to discuss issues concerning the big Lorries parked on
the main roads of Banjul for days causing traffic obstructions. Apartfrom the road obstruction that the said lorries are causing in the
streets of the capital city more so Banjul South Constituency, it also
causes rubbish to compile beneath them (parked Lorries) which is a health
hazard to the community. Another issue of concern was the road
conditions in the city.
The meeting was held at the Mayor’s Chambers in the Banjul City
Council.  During the discussion, the head of the drivers and garages and
representatives of the Transport Union explained their constraints to
the City Council thus urging them to intervene.
Samba Jobe, Operation Officer Gambia Transport Corporation said the parking of Lorries

on the major roads around the Banjul
South constituency is due to lack of space in the city.
He explained that most of these Lorries come to Banjul to collect
goods and services at the wharves while others queue to use the ferry
to cross to Barra.
He further said the delay at the Ferry crossing point in Banjul causes
them to wait for days just to be able to cross. Mr. Jobe cited this as
a major constraint, “Most of these lorries that are parked around the
major roads are those lorries that are queuing to cross with the
Ferry,” he lamented.
Similar Comments were reiterated by Mr Manlafi Camara National
Transport Field Coordinator.
He lamented that the garage that is allocated at Abuko is too far for
Lorries to be parking until their turn come, then they come back to
collect their merchandise from Banjul.
Omar Ceesay head of the main Banjul taxi park also said that the main
problem drivers are facing is the poor road condition along Primet
Street, which he said is causing lots of drivers to divert route and
ply other areas within the Kanifing Municipality and West Coast
Region.
He further said that vehicle drivers lay their complaints to him as
the head, some even do it violently, using foul languages due to the
poor condition of the roads.
He said drivers find it very difficult to come to Banjul because of
the damages they incur on their vehicles.
“A lot of commercial vehicle owners have warned their drivers not to
go to Banjul anymore due to the condition of the roads,” he disclosed.
He said he has been trying to find a better solution to the problem,
suggesting the Lasso Wharf – Box Bar road to be completed up to Allen
Street, noting that drivers will find it very easy to find their way
out without any problem.
He urged the city council to intervene in trying to solve these problems.
He also commended the City Council through the leadership of Bah in
responding to some of their needs.
Musa Jeng, a resident around the main garage, and also a member of the
garage head, decried the blockage of the drainage system. This
according to him is due to the rubbish that are dumped in it. He
also cited the small plastic pots that some vendors use to sell black
tea ‘CAFÉ TOUBA’, which he said are scattered everywhere.
This he continues, is causing problems to residents living around the
taxi park noting that when it rains, the rubbish will cause blockages
making it difficult for water to pass through thereby causing floods.
He also reiterated the poor road conditions, especially Primet Street,
and called on the council to help in its maintenance.
ASP Kebba Bojang, Station Officer, Banjul, called for the
revitalization of the old system on the control of the Lorries in
order to stop them from parking on the highways of Banjul causing traffic
obstructions.
He explains that during those days, when he was a junior officer in
the Police Force, there was proper control of Lorries entering in and
out of the City. He lamented the unavailability of traffic sign
boards which he said makes vehicles to park anywhere. He added that
sign boards make the work of the police very easy.
ASP Ismaila Sallah Banjul Traffic Police Department also emphasized on
the importance of sign boards on the work of the police. He further
urged the Transport Corporation to commit themselves in solving these
problems.
Lala Camara Deputy Commissioner Banjul Division representing the IGP
said the police are not just there to arrest, but also to
contribute efficiently in nation building.
She also said it is important for all stakeholders to be
committed to solve these problems.
She said during cleansing exercises the police participate fully
in clearing the business areas in the City up to the Gambia Ports
Authority but lamented that none of the lorry drivers takes part in
the activity.
“We should all work on maintaining the cleanliness of the city, and as
well try to find ways and means in order to avoid traffic
obstructions,” noted the Deputy Commissioner, Banjul Division.
She also assured the commitment of the police towards this course.
The Mayor of Banjul, on his part said the parking of Lorries
along the highways causes a great obstruction to the traffic. He also
said the parking of Lorries with heavy container loads causes
the Banjul roads to have short span.
Mayor Bah also said the parking of Lorries on the roads has negative impact
on the environment in the city, such as causing damages on the road,
littering and traffic obstruction. “Therefore these problems need to
be addressed as Banjul is the only capital city in the Gambia and
each and everyone has a role to play in developing it,” Mayor Bah
asserted.
He further said there is a land that is allocated by the
government to the City Council around Bond Road to be used as a
multi-purpose garage for Lorries to be parked.
“We will be finding ways and means of building it, and I believe this
will solve the problems of Lorries parking on the highways or roads in
the city causing obstructions” he disclosed.
This idea was embraced by all stakeholders at the Meeting.
Mayor Bah also said for Primet Street, they are working on
having a temporal measure for the time being for vehicles to use. He
said the council through the help of the National Disaster
Management Agency under the President’s Office will fill all portholes
and craters along the Primet Street for vehicles to use. He added that
the City Council will also work with the Ministry of Works for the
completion of the Box Bar- Lasso wharf road up to Allen Street for
commercial vehicle to be using.
On the sign boards, Mayor Bah said, the council in close collaboration
with stakeholders will work on having traffic sign boards to help the
work of the police.
He further said that, Monday 17 August, the Council in close
collaboration with stakeholders will make an assessment of the
identified land and see how best a temporal measure can be implemented
for Lorries to use for parking before the final construction of the
said land.
He also called for attitudinal change for the
development of the city, noting that everyone has a role to play.
He explained that Primet Street is a muddy area and that is why
council in close collaboration with the Works Ministry is finding ways
for a lasting solution.
He added the usage of the city roads by heavy Lorries causes
damages to the roads in the City.
City Council officials present at the meeting were, Mustapha
Batchilly, Chief Executive Officer Banjul City Council, Sandigie Njie,
Public Relation Officer Banjul City Council and Head of the City
Council Security Unit.