By Adama Njang
Some shops at Albert Market and the road leading to the ferry terminal were early this week demolished as the nationwide road-clearing exercise reached Banjul.
Roadside stalls were also removed during the operation.
The Commissioner of the Mobile Traffic Unit, Alhaji LaminKing Colley, was leading the charge as authorities carried on with the demolition exercise in the capital.
Shortly before the demolition of the shops and removal of the stalls, Commissioner Colley engaged the affected individuals by informing them that their structures and stalls were encroaching on the roads and pathways in the market. The encroachment, he said, was causing obstruction to the public. The mobile traffic unit boss explained that roads and pathways are for people to move with ease.
The Acting PRO of the Gambia Police Force (GPF), Cadet ASP Modou Musa Sisawo, urged the public to cooperate with the authorities during the countrywide demolition exercise, saying the objective is to facilitate vehicular traffic and free movement of the people. He also said the exercise would enhance the security of lives and property.
Meanwhile, a catfish seller at Albert Market, Ndey Kumba, said she was seriously affected by the exercise and appealed to the relevant authorities to provide them with an alternative place to sell.
“I understand that the operation is sanctioned by the government but I’m appealing to the concerned authorities to help us find another space to do business. Selling catfish is my only source of income. The money we make here is used to pay our children’s school fees, buy food, and other family expenses. It would be really hard for us if we are asked to vacate here,” she stated.
Affected shop owner Musa Njie said: “This operation is not a good decision and we are not really happy about it because we’ve spent a lot of money in trying to develop our businesses. We depend on our businesses to feed our families. There are no job opportunities here. I urge the government to examine the negative impact of the exercise on our livelihoods. This exercise is really affecting the population.”