By Adama Tine
The World Food Programme(WFP) last Tuesday handed over six newly constructed airport canopies to the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) as part of its COVID-19 support to the Gambia Government.
Claude Nshimirimana, head of Supply Chain at World Food Programme, The Gambia, in his remarks on behalf of Yasuhiro Tsumura, WFP Country Representative said: “To avoid overcrowding of passengers on airport buses and within the airport grounds, WFP funded the construction of the canopies with technical support from our sister agency, the United Nations Office Programmers (UNOPS) as an additional step towards ensuring social distancing of passengers.”
He emphasized the need to continue practicing WHO guidelines on social distancing and washing hands frequently.
Shabnam Mallikk, Country Manager of the United Nations Office Programmers described Banjul International Airport as not only a critical piece of the transport infrastructure, but literally the structure that travelers to the country see upon arrival and the last they see before they exit. He expressed the hope that the canopies will improve passenger experience at the airport and provide them with cover.
Sulayman Jatta, Deputy Director of the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority assured WFP and UNOPS of their commitment to properly maintain the facilities.
He added that it is their hope that the public will continue to adhere to Covid-19 preventive guidelines at the airport especially considering that the canopies are constructed to ensure the enforcement of some of the recommendations. He further said that GCAA will continue to intensify efforts geared towards maintaining the safety of passengers and the public as well as balance the delicate task of safely operating the airport without compromising the health of aviation consumers.