By MUHAMMED SAILU BAH
The Banjul City Council during the weekend started filling up the large potholes or craters in Primet Street with stones from broken cement blocks recovered from demolished building sites around the city.
This, according to city officials, is just a temporal measure in order to enable vehicles, especially commercial vans, to access the central car park through this main access route during the rainy season.
As was earlier reported in this medium, commercial vehicle drivers, commuters and residents have all been raising their concerns on the poor condition of the roads and streets in the capital city of Banjul and most especially the main and busy access routes such as Primet Street, Box Bar Road, etc. They are complaining about the state of total disrepair of some of these routes which are un-motorable both during and after the rains because of the pools of water and potholes or craters that destroy their vehicles.
Speaking to some of the commercial vehicle drivers, who daily ply the Banjul-Kombos route, they said they welcome the filling of the potholes in Primet Street as a temporal measure but called for the construction of good roads as a more durable solution.
This reporter also observed the piles of rubble placed at the car park by trucks brought by Council being broken into smaller particles with hammers by some of the men who are working there. They also appealed for the Council to help them to level the piles with a grader.
“We are demotivated in coming to Banjul because of the potholes which often cause damages to our vehicles and also the lack of alternative good roads,” said one of the van drivers.
He added that this is the reason why commuters always find it difficult to get transport to and from Banjul as many van drivers have diverted to shorter and better routes.
One of the retinues at the car park called Dembo, whose work is to assist customers secure seats in the passenger vehicles and get tipped by drivers, said his survival depends on vehicles coming to the car park and which is only possible if the roads are good for them to drive their vehicles.
“As a ‘Ralluman’, I make a living out of the commercial vehicles by finding passengers for them and if they are no longer coming to Banjul because of bad roads then I’ll not have income to survive,” he revealed.
He also welcomed the efforts by BCC in trying to fix the road for vehicles to find it easy to come to Banjul.
Addressing the drivers and other stakeholders at the City Council, Mayor Abdoulie Bah said the craters they are currently filling at Primet Street is only a temporal measure to enable the easy movement of vehicles.
Mayor Bah said they are doing it with the support of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) which has provided the trucks they use to collect the rubble from the demolished building sites to fill the potholes.