#Article (Archive)

GPA and the ferries, urgent action is the solution

Mar 14, 2011, 11:00 AM

There is no doubt that an efficient transportation network is indispensable to the realisation of the government's Vision 2020 objectives, but only if urgent actions are taken to put right both major and minor loopholes in the operations of the ferry services in this country, within a reasonably short time.

Concerns have been raised regarding the withdrawal of both Barra and Johe ferries crossing between Banjul and Barra, due to what the Gambia Ports Authority said in its press release was "some mechanical and electrical faults", which is indeed a matter of grave concern.

The Gambia Ports Authority said in its press release that it was "compelled to withdraw these services to safeguard the safety of our esteemed customers and members of the public."

This is a good idea by the GPA management because, as we always emphasize on these pages, every feasible safety measure must be put in place in our ferries, so as to give the passengers crossing a reasonable degree of assurance that the ferries they board are perfectly safe.

The GPA should ensure that the safety of the passengers plying the River Gambia on its ferries, on a daily basis, is given top priority.

It was not too long ago when we also stated on these pages that though the ferries bring in a lot of revenue, on a daily basis, the GPA should and must be seen to take immediate steps to put aside any ferry that is no longer safe for use by the travelling public.

Availability of a proper transportation network, especially ferry crossing, has now become a major concern in all corners of our society. This is so, especially during Tobaski feasts, when thousands cross on a daily basis either to Banjul or to Barra.

Taking a stroll at the ferry terminal in Banjul or Barra, now that we only have one ferry crossing at the moment, one cannot help but see how people scramble to get onboard the ferry.

While we appreciate the efforts of the GPA management, in temporarily withdrawing these ferries due to some faults, we are still urging them to boost efforts in putting our ferries in a good state as this would do well for the public.

The GPA should also be seen working tirelessly in addressing this problem, within the shortest possible period of time.


"Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands."

Jeff Cooper