31.2 C
City of Banjul
Saturday, May 25, 2024
spot_img
spot_img

Ferry services and disaster preparedness

- Advertisement -

For some time now, passengers who use the Gambia Ferry Services to and from Banjul have been experiencing a lot of difficulties as the ferries persistently develop engine problems. Sometimes, it goes for days without a single service and people have to resort to using the small boats to cross in order to attend to their daily business.

This problem came to a head, as it were, last week when the engine of the Kanilai Ferry developed problems at sea which led to the ferry almost wandered into disaster. It was at the mercy of the waves and could not find its own way back to Barra, where it was destined for.

The Gambia Navy and some local boat owners had to rescue some of the passengers after many hours of harrowing experience. It is difficult to imagine the fear and trauma the passengers were going through at that time. Not only the passengers, but their loved ones must have endured a terrible day not knowing whether their people will safely reach shore or not.

- Advertisement -

As there are no tangible emergency plans for a disaster like this, all people could do was wait and pray.  The hunger, thirst and other inconveniences must have been hell for the people who happened to be aboard the ferry on that fateful day. All they could do was wait and hope.

The National Disaster Management Agency sent periodic updates through the media that no lives were at risk and that people should remain calm.  If anything such reassurances just increased the tension and fear in the hearts of those whose loved ones were aboard.

The question now is this: what will the government of the Gambia do to ensure that something like this, or worse, will not happen again? Isn’t it time to procure good ferries to serve the people of the North Bank Region and other travellers? This is long overdue and should be treated with some urgency.

- Advertisement -

Additionally, proper and adequate arrangements must be made in case of emergencies like the one that happened recently. There must be rescue arrangements put in place so that help will be made available in circumstances that are unpleasant.

Safety first!

Join The Conversation
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img