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Kunta Kinteh Ferry set for services after maintenance 

Feb 14, 2022, 1:07 PM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

The Kunta Kinteh Ferry is now set for operations between Banjual and Barra Crossing points after weeks of refurbishments, Lamin Jawara, general manager for the Gambia Ferry Service (GFS) has announced.

 

Speaking to journalists on Friday in a press conference held at Banjul Ferry Terminal, Mr. Jawara said: “Last month we made announcement that we are refurbishing the Kunta Kinteh and the Johe ferries. And today we are announcing that refurbishment works has been completed. The Kunta Kinteh ferry is ready for redeployment for services.”

GM Jawara noted that three brand new engines ordered from the Caterpillar Company Limited have been replaced in the Kunta Kinteh ferry. He said commissioning of engines was done by Caterpillar engineers, while the installation was done by GFS’s engineers.

“The ferry has been tested. We have done trials and now the ferry is a much improved in condition,” he said.

The GFS boss noted that the refurbishment of the Kunta Kinteh ferry was done alongside with the Johe Ferry, which also plies at the Banjul-Barra terminals.

 He added the Niani ferry in the Central River Region was also put into service in the same refurbishment programme, and it has been redeployed to the Barjally-Wally Kunda crossing point for service.

These refurbishments of the Kunta Kinteh, Johe, Kanilai and Niani ferries, he said cost thirty-five million dalasis (D35, 000,000).

The refurbishment was geared towards ensuring effective, efficient, reliable and quick ferrying of passengers at the Banjul-Barra as well as Niani crossing points.

Mr. Jawara further announced one hour extension to ferries’ closing time at the Banjul- Barra crossing points. He said the last ferry from Banjul to Barra used to depart at 10:00 pm and 11:00 pm from Barra-Banjul but with the extension the last ferry from Banjul will depart at 11:00 pm and last ferry from Barra departs at midnight.

Several night commuters coming from North and West African countries to The Gambia through neighbouring Senegal often miss the last ferry from Barra and spend nights in the North Bank town of Barra.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jawara said the one hour extension will enable commuters from the North Bank Region and neighbouring Senegal to board the last ferry to ensure they reach their various destinations safely.

GFS’s new development and innovations

GM Jawara said GFS has introduced new technological initiatives that aim at ensuring commuters access information of ferries easily.  He said GFS has developed an APP that contains many features such as the ferries’ tariff, ferries’ departure schedule, ferries’ tracking system and ferries’ map. 

Mr. Jawara noted that the APP will help commuters to track ferries and know their departure time to any terminal. He justified that all announcements concerning ferries would now be published on the APP for public consumption.

“Today, the APP is available publicly on the Google Play Store. The general public can now download it,” he affirmed.

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