Wednesday, September 27

Sulayman Suwaneh urges government to act on issue of poor ferry services –

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By Yunus S Saliu

A Gambian-Denmark-based philanthropist has urged the government of the Gambia to find a solution to the problem of poor ferry services which is gradually causing insomnia for the users.

Mr. Sulayman Junkung Sawaneh’s comment came at the heel of the personal experience and present situation that users of the ferry are currently facing at the ferry terminals both in Banjul and Barra crossing points.

He said three ferries – Kunta Kinteh, Kanilai, and Johe are scheduled for plying Banjul-Barra terminals, “but, unfortunately, sometimes ferry users will spend more than expected time waiting for the ferry to come to allow them to cross all because of poor services and on and off of the ferries.”

He said the government or relevant authorities in control of the ferry services should not wait until people start to complain before taking action to rectify the menace at the terminal and port.

According to him, “It is a disheartening issue when you see a journey that should not take more than 30 or 40 minutes (to cross to either side) becoming two hours plus just because of some people not doing their work as they are mandated to.”

Mr Sawaneh said the government should do something and avoid the same situation of March 2023 whereby someone confirmed sick died in an ambulance on the ferry, a situation that Lamin Jawara, the General Manager of the ferry services stated that “one of the vessel’s rudder propellers got entangled with a fishing net, a frequent occurrence near the landing site in Barra,” as this was published by the Standard newspaper.

He emphasized why any reasonable and reliable government workers should wait till anything happen or get worst before taking action, noting that “oftentimes you will see passengers are locked in the departure hall in the terminal waiting for a ferry to come while many vehicles also will remain on queue waiting for the same ferry so that they can cross.”

“Government should stop giving a deaf ear to complain of the people if they want this country to develop like we are seeing in Europe, America and even in some other African countries,” he lamented.