#Editorial

Reforms needed as Covid-19 continues to cripple economies!

Aug 10, 2021, 10:30 AM

Since the first outbreak of the global pandemic in 2019, among the sectors that were dealt with a severe blow is the global transport sector.

We all know the importance of this sector in the efficient functioning of our national economies. Apart from providing vital and essential linkages to global markets, it also facilitates easy access to social and economic facilities.  

The emergence of Covid-19 only has not only slowed down economic power of nations, but it also changed the narrative of how life used to be, especially in the free movement of people.

It all came in March 2020, when Barrow in a release ordered that commercial vehicles reduce the number of passengers by half in the bid to stem the spread of the contagious virus.

Then came another declaration for the closure of non-essential shops, bars, cafés, casinos, and sporting venues and suspected all forms of public gatherings.

What is even surprising is the fact that the global pandemic has brought along with a completely different approach.

Just imagine the order for commercial drivers to reduce their passengers by half also saw a corresponding increment of transport fares.

Instead of charging D8 for taxi fares, it has risen to D10, as many would base their argument that they are operating on a lost couple with rise in fuel cost.

Many could attest to the fact that the country’s transport system has seen the worst in its history as pedestrians spend countless hours to reach home after work due to lack of vehicles.

This nightmare will continue to unfold as long as the country lacks legislation to bring sanity in the country’s transport sector.

The Gambia Transport Union and other players in the transport sector are doing little or nothing in curbing the unregulated transport fares in the country.

The transport union should have stepped up and addressed some of the attitudes by these greedy drivers.

As hours evolve, the situation remains unaddressed with drivers, pedestrians and even students being the hardest hit categories.

Government should take the lead and others follow. What we put at the back of minds is that Covid-19 is a global threat. Despite the availability of vaccines, it requires joint efforts to totally eradicate this life threatening disease.

"Successful health reform must not just make health insurance affordable, affordable health insurance has to make health care affordable."

Elizabeth Edward

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