By Tabora Bojang
The lead consultant for the 50km urban roads project under the OIC has disclosed that civil works for the construction of 20 new roads ahead of the summit will commence next week.
Imed Gharbi disclosed this to journalists at the official signing ceremony of the OIC road contracts. The contracts divided into two lots have been awarded to 4 international civil engineering companies, partnering 2 Gambian incorporated firms.
They were given a contract duration of 14 months.
“Right now, the contractors are doing all their mobilization work on their logistical arrangements and starting next week they will start work,” Gharbi, whose team will supervise, manage and monitor the execution of the road construction, added.
The contracts are awarded in two lots with lot 1, which consists of 11 roads with 24km to be constructed by Senegal-based CSE, ALFAHID from Saudi Arabia and SSTP from The Gambia.
Lot 2 consisting 6 roads of 28km are awarded to PAVIFORT from Sierra Leone, HUTA from Saudi and GAMBISSARA from Gambia.
Lot 1 costs $20.9 million while Lot 2 is worth $20.4 million.
The OIC Gambia Secretariat Chief Executive Officer, Yankuba Dibba said these new roads when completed will decongest and reduce pressure on major highways, improve the urban outlook of the country as well as facilitate easy and fast movement of people, goods, and services.
“The coming of the OIC to the country will be meaningless if it cannot be linked to the welfare, wellbeing and progress of most of the people in this country. That is why we are seeking meaningful partnerships to leave a legacy in every aspect of Gambian lives,” Dibba said.
Works minister Bai Lamin Jobe, informed the contractors that these roads are not their usual type of contracts where “everything is neat and clean”.
“There is a lot of congestion and you [contractors] will be facing a lot of challenges because of the demand to use these roads. There is going to be a serious traffic management effort that has to be in place because of the present situation. We hope you will exercise not only patience but respect for the public and their needs and challenges,” he said.
According to Minister Jobe, funds earmarked for the roads have already been provided by the Saudi Fund.
Waseem Abdallah, a representative of CSE, Saudi-based ALFAHID & SSTP, assured the Gambian side that the projects will be delivered on time.
Alimou Sanu Barrie, a representative of the Sierra Leone-based PAVIFORT, Saudi-based HUTA & Gambian owned GAMBISARA, assured that they will also do utmost for the timely completion of the roads as well as follow all the technical specifications.