2015 IN BRIEF PUBLIC SERVICES

By Amie Sanneh
We have been publishing a summary of the stories that we published in
2015. We now summarise stories relating to the provision of services
by public bodies. It is important to note that public service is not a
privilege but a right enshrined in the Constitution. Indeed section
26(c) of the Constitution stipulates that every citizen of The Gambia
has the right to have access to public service in The Gambia.

FERRY TARIFF INCREASES
Fares of the ferry plying the Banjul-Barra route have now beenPassengers stampeding to enter the ferry
increased from D15 to D25 as at 1 January, 2015.
This 60% increase was confirmed by of Gambia Ports Authority (GPA).
Mr. Ansumana Gibba, the Public Relation Officer said that the 60%
increase in the ferry tariff is due to the high cost of fuel,
hydraulic oil and other operation costs.

6 MILLION EUROS SPENT ON REHABILITATION OF 2 FERRIES
The Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA),
Mr. Ansumana Gibba, has said that Six Million Euros was spent on the
rehabilitation of the Kanilai and Johe ferries.
Mr. Gibba said this in an interview at the GPA Shipyard in Banjul on
Tuesday, 10 February 2015.
He said the Kanilai, which is one of the three ferries that ply the
Banjul-Barra route, is still under maintenance at the Shipyard. The
GPA PRO said the Six Million Euros included expenses on the
procurement of air balloon technology as well as the expatriate fees
among other costs.
No. 2, 2015
GAMBIA SECURES $22.5 MILLION TO REPLACE ASBESTOS WATER PIPES

The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr. Abdou Kolley, onAbdou Kolley
Wednesday, 17 June, 2015, told the National Assembly that a credit
finance instrument was signed with the Export-Import Bank of India on
29th October 2014 for an amount of US$22,500,000 to fund the project
for the replacement of Asbestos water pipes with UPVC pipes in the
Greater Banjul Area in Gambia.
He said currently NAWEC has a total distribution network of about 517
km of which about 45km are aged asbestos pipes, some of which were
laid 60 years ago with its health concerns for consuming water through
them. He said they have proposed to change the entire water
distribution and transmission networks having AC pipes throughout the
country.

GRA TAKES OVER RENT, RATES COLLECTION FROM LOCAL COUNCILS
The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), effective from 1 April 2015, took
over the collection of rents and rates from the area and municipal
councils.
Council officials told Foroyaa that an executive directive has
authorised GRA to start collecting the rates and duties that used to
be the work of
the area and municipal councils with effective from the 1st of March
2015. They however added that the authority lacks the human resource
on the ground to do the collection and as such it is the councils’
revenue collectors that are collecting the revenue on their behalf.
The council officials further stated that the revenue they are
collecting will now be paid into an account that is controlled by the
GRA and that the funds can only be accessed through requests made and
authorization by the ministry of finance.
Foroyaa had received complaints that the implementation of this
directive has resulted in salary arrears for council workers, lack of
fuel for cleansing or garbage collection services, among other
difficulties.
By June area and municipal councils had retaken revenue collection
from the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) following an executive
directive dated 8 June 2015.

FAJI KUNDA DUMOS RESIDENTS LAMENT THE LACK OF BASIC AMENITIES
In the month of March 2015, the residents of Faji Kunda Dumos made
their voices heard on the difficulties they are having regarding
access to water, consistent electricity and good roads in their
community.
Faji Kunda Dumos is a densely populated outlying urban settlement in
the Kanifing Municipality which is situated between Latrikunda Sabiji
off the main market junction and the swamps of the River Gambia.
They complained of the poor electricity service in the area which,
they said, goes out at 6am and comes on at 7pm every day for almost
one year.
On access to portable water, they say the problem of inadequate taps
in the area compell them to trek long distances in order to get clean
water for drinking and cooking, adding they are sometimes denied
access to these taps by the owners.
There is no designated area for garbage dumping and
that the Municipal Council does not collect the waste generated by the
households. She also cited the roads that are not motorable as the
tarred road stops 700 metres from “Kaw” junction on the main
Serekunda-Brikama Highway.
Another resident, Fatou lamented the lack of access to a market
and health facility in their immediate locality, adding that the women
have to walk for long distances before reaching the main Latrikunda
Market and Faji Kunda Health Centre.
She cited the lack of proper sanitation, describing the place as
“unsanitary , inaccessible by transport and  inhabitable during the rains”.
She added that  there is no nursery or primary school in the area
and that they have to take their children all the way to schools in
Latrikunda Sabiji and Abuko.
“The place which is prone to flood is the worst during the rainy season
when the compounds inundate with water leading to collapse of mud
brick houses,” said Kebba , a compound owner residing in the
area.