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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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High hopes for a resumption of ferry services

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Hopes are high in the Niumis and indeed the entire North Bank Region that the ferry services between Banjul and Barra will soon resume. This is so because these are the communities most affected by the lack of a ferry service.

It could be recalled that more than one month ago, the Kunta Kinteh Ferry developed an engine problem and was constantly having breakdowns at sea. At this time, the management of the Ferry Services decided to dry dock it and do some maintenance work on it in order to deliver better services.

It was revealed in a press release at the time that the duration of the maintenance will be about six weeks. Five weeks have already gone and hopes are that within the coming week, the work will be completed and the ferry returned to sea so as to serve the travelling community.

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Two or three weeks after the breakdown of the Kunta Kinteh, the Kanilai Ferry also had a problem when all engines broke down mid sea, leaving it to the mercy of the winds. Passengers were stranded at sea and those whose vehicles were onboard had to wait for days before getting them back.

It was then that the people of Lower Niumi District, particularly the association known as Niumi Hands came out to demand better services. They decided that they will stage a peaceful protest to bring the plight of their people to the attention of the relevant authorities.

They were joined in this effort by the National Assembly member of the area, Tamsir Cham and some elders of Barra and its surroundings. The National Youth Parliament and other associations also showed their support to the cause. The request for a permit to protest was however denied due to fears that it might affect the upcoming OIC summit.

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In the past few days however, photos of the Kunta Ferry were shown on social media where maintenance work was nearing completion. This was when the Area’s National Assembly Member went to inspect the work so as to know the stage of the maintenance.

It is hoped therefore that the Gambia Ferry Services will maintain the original six weeks to return the ferry to sea. It is also hoped that the services will record a significant improvement.

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