#Article (Archive)

Banjul-Barra Ferry delay worries Jokadou NAM

Oct 1, 2010, 11:46 AM | Article By: Alieu Jabang

As the National Assembly continues meeting in Banjul, the state of affairs at the Gambia Ports Authority regarding the condition of the ferries plying Banjul and Barra was on Wednesday the subject of a question posed by Hon. Kebba Gaye, member for Jokadou constituency.

The honourable member asked the Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure if there are any plans to reactivate the Banjul dry-dock for their proper maintenance.

Speaking during question-and-answer session, Hon. Gaye also expressed worry that the present condition of the ferries is causing "delay at both terminals, particularly for vehicles".

However, responding to his concerns, the Vice President, Isatou Njie-Saidy, who deputized for the minister of Works, said the GPA has already started a rehabilitation project for the Banjul Shipyard, which includes the acquisition of a new slipway and cradle.

"The contract was awarded to Damen Shipyard of Holland to construct the cradle that was designed to handle the biggest ferry that is Kanilai and others," she said.

According to Vice President Njie-Saidy, this project will be completed in 15 months’ time, and all GPA ferries will be part of a programme for out-of-water maintenance periodically at the Banjul Shipyard.

This, she added, will greatly increase the safety and operational efficiencies of all the fleet in the Gambia.

"As we strive hard to transform and improve both the facilities and infrastructure of the yard, we humbly beg the understanding and patience of the honourable member and members of the public in our quest to make it the best in the sub-region," she said.

Responding to further questions from Hon. Kaba Touray, member for Lower Saloum as to whether there are plans to construct feeder roods linking Kaur-Simbara, Kaur-Jimbara and Jimbala-Balangar, Vice President Njie-Saidy said the National Roads Authority is committed to the construction and/or reconstruction of all roads in the Gambia, in particular feeder roads.

There is a proposal for a feeder roads programme throughout the entire country to address the deteriorating roads holistically of which Kaur-Simbara, Kaur-Jimbala and Jimbala-Balangar is included, she announced.

Meanwhile, members of the National Assembly on the same day ratified the statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which among others seeks to promote the widespread and increased adoption and use of renewable energy with a view to sustainable development.