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City of Banjul
Saturday, May 25, 2024
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The breakdown in ferry services

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It’s coming to a month without any improvement in the services of the ferries between Banjul and Barra. Kunta Kinteh is still under maintenance and Kanilai is the only one plying for the meantime.

However, sometimes in a whole day, there would be only one trip and other times, none at all.  It is the boats that people now use for the crossings which are unaffordable. The people who operate the boats are taking advantage of the lack of ferry services to make money.

Every facet of life in the Nuimis, the whole of North Bank in fact, has been negatively impacted and this is being felt by everyone. The petty traders complain of the lack of sales due to the fact that there is no ferry. They struggle from morning to evening without selling much.

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The commercial drivers are crying because they sometimes have to spend a whole day having loaded only once as there is no ferry. When any vehicle is to load, it will be there for hours without having the number of clients to enable the driver have a full load.

Even the banks are complaining because as the Gambia Ports Authority in North Bank is not making any money, they are not making any deposits. This makes the banks also have little money and some of their transactions have to wait for money to be sent from the Kombos which will have to come from the Trans Gambia Road as there is no ferry.

There are thousands of people who have business or need in Banjul and the Kombos but are unable to get to them due to the absence of a ferry service. The hundreds of people who used to come from Senegal to buy goods which they would then take to Senegal for sale are stranded and cannot continue with their business.

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In short, all these individuals and entities are losing money as a result of the absence of a ferry service. This means that they will not be able to pay taxes, or at least the amount they used to pay will reduce drastically. If one quantifies the losses due to the absence of a ferry service, it will run into millions of dalasis.

But it is not only the loss of money that matters, the people of the Niumis and the whole of North Bank are not happy with the Government due to this problem. The Gambia Ports Authority seems to be failing the people of this region. Again!

Every effort should therefore be made to ensure the resumption of the ferry services as a matter of urgency!

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