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Project for new ferry services slipway to start soon

Oct 7, 2011, 12:37 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

Hamidou Baldeh, senior public relations and facilitation officer of the Ferry Services at the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), yesterday disclosed that plans are at an advanced stage for the construction of a slipway for the new ferry recently commissioned to ply between Banjul and Barra.

Mr Baldeh was speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper in his office at the GPA in Banjul.

He announced that approval has been received from the Gambia government, through the Office of the President, and the contract was given to SINCO SPA and that, as at now, they are mobilizing their equipment in order to start the project.

“SINCO SPA is a credible construction company, and  this is not the first time the Gambia Ports Authority had contracted with them, and they done it accordingly without delay,’’ he continued.

He said the reason the new ferries from Greece did not start operations up to now is that the new ferry system is different from the other ferries like Kanilai, otherwise they would have been in service without delay.

“Ramps are different sizes, so the management needed to construct a new slipway for the new ferry to start operations,” Mr Baldeh went on.

GPA hopes that the project will start before the end of October 2011, and is expected to be completed within four months.

The Aljamdou Ferry is the one presently docked at the Banjul port, and has higher capacity than Kansala in terms of carrying passengers, but the Kansala also has a higher capacity for carrying vehicles and lorries.

He said Kansala Ferry is presently docked at Farafenni, after it was realized that there was a need to construct a new slipway at the Yellitenda and Bambatenda ferry crossings in order to start the new ferry service.

Mr Baldeh disclosed that the GPA had invited contractors to tender for building the new slipway in Yellitenda and Bambatenda.

Meanwhile, Baldeh announced that the GPA is appealing to ferry service customers for their understanding and patience, since ongoing preparations for the project to get underway have tended to disrupt normal access for persons and vehicles at the ferry terminal in Banjul.