By Adama Tine
Several people who travel between the Banjul-Barra ferry crossing points have expressed great concern over the recent breakdown of the Kunta Kinteh ferry.
The Banjul-Barra ferry is one of the country’s busiest river crossing points which is believed to generate large sums of money into the state coffers on a daily basis through the ferries.
Nyaranding Kanteh, a traveler said she has been waiting at the ferry terminal since 6am, adding that Gambians are suffering with the single ferry which movement is worst than ever as it always spent over one hour from departure point to its destination point.
“I am urging the ferry services to quickly find ways to address this issue of ferry breakdowns. People travel everyday either by boat or ferry. Old women like myself cannot travel with boat because it is unsafe and not conducive. What is the essence of us buying tickets and our needs are not provided,” she asked rhetorically.
According to her, it has become a big problem that whenever you want to travel by sea you think of the ferry breakdown first and the time it will take to reach the destination which can even make you to postpone your trip.
“The issue of the ferry should be government’s biggest concern because transportation is a means of revenue generation and that sector should be well monitored,” she noted.
She explained that seats are not enough for everyone inside the terminal with parents most of the time standing for hours with their children waiting for the ferry. “Vehicles and people are always packed in the same ferry which is unsafe and most of the time vehicles are prioritized than human beings,” she also said.
She urged the government to quickly intervene and think of ways to solve the ferries issue for the wellbeing of the citizens.
Ablie Njie, said people are really suffering when it comes to ferry breakdown and therefore called on the ferry service authorities to tackle the problem without delay.
Isatou Ceesay said: “some people have to sleep over just to join the first ferry in a case when a dead body had to be taken to another village.”
She said the way people are surviving is very sad. “It is over a month that President Barrow was reelected but nothing has improved and the changes we voted for are not effected. The government should wake up and help its citizens.”