It is indeed a welcome development that our friends, the Taiwanese have contributed to the purchasing of three new ferry engines to ease transportation between Banjul and Barra. The acquisition of new ferry engines for our snail speed ferries would no doubt ensure that the people are always at ease when traveling across the length and breadth of the country.
It is certain that waterways are critically important in the transportation of people and goods in many places in the world. At this time that the country is gearing to meet the target date for the national development blueprint, the Vision 2020, free movement of people and goods is very fundamental. In fact, considering the immense contribution of the ferry services to the economy, the quality, shape and condition of the ferries is fundamental to national development.
Currently, Banjul-Barra ferry crossing is a nightmare. The smooth and easy crossing of people, goods and services is extra-tedious due to congestion coupled with the snail speed of the ferries. Buying new engines for the ferries can therefore greatly reduce that unfortunate situation.
However, what is important is the maintenance and proper management of the ferries. The ferries even if with new engines should not in any way be abused to the extent that they quickly depreciate without meeting their life span warranty.Preventing the overloading of the ferries would aid a great deal in that respect.
We therefore wish to call on the management of Ferry Services to endeavour to put in place standards of best practices. This will be in line with the development aspirations and as well build the confidence of people on the institution.
After all, our collective ambition for national development cannot be achieved without convenience in the free movement of people, goods and services. We should also be proactive in ensuring the sustainability of the ferries.