The Gambia Ports Authority has recently signed a contract worth over one million Euros river dredging to remove over 100, 000 cubic meters of sand to allow the ferries to operate uninterruptedly.
The multi-million dalasi contract which was signed between the GPA and DEME Dredging International Company of Denmark will ease the smooth movement of vessels and ferries in both the Banjul and Barra landing sites.
Abdoulie Tambedou, Managing Director GPA, said the main port in the Banjul-Barra vessel and ferry landing sites has a low dept which is not sufficient for the anchoring of the ferries and some vessels.
The contract if completed, GPA MD added, will enable the ferries to operate 24 hours without delays and as well allow the vessel landing sites to sufficiently cater for bigger vessels.
Mr. Tambedou said if all goes as planned, the project will be completed latest July 2018.
He said since the arrival of the new ferry Kunta Kinteh, the Gambia Ports Authority has been encountering numerous challenges due to the insufficient capacity of the landing sites.
The project which is bankrolled by GPA and it is under the supervision of NIRAS, a Denis consultancy firm who has been supporting GPA since in the 80s.
The consultant, NIRAS Director of Ports and Marine, Jesper Harder thanked the GPA and reassured them of his continued support.
Meanwhile, the GPA Harbour Master, Captain Kulay Manneh said the Banjul ports is influenced by sea tides which goes with sediments and it has resulted in a lot of siltation over the years.
This, he said, has restricted the movements of the ferries and the ships coming to the Banjul Port, “Given the fact that vessels can only berth at high water.”
He said the dredging will help in the improvement of ships run around time, saying this will improve GPA’s productivity and as well reduce the over staying of vessels, which he added transferred to high cost of commodity.
“Because the more ships spend in a landing site, the more cost it becomes on the ships which will be as well transferred to cost of article and subsequently on to the consumers,” he concluded.