The new minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure continued his tour of road reconstruction projects with a visit on Monday to the government intervention areas in Banjul.
Balla Garba Jahumpa known as 'Action Man', apparently due to his sense of pragmatism, was accompanied by senior officials of his Ministry to inspect ongoing works at Buckle and Hagan Streets.
The works in Banjul are part of the continued efforts of the government under the leadership of President Jammeh to address the condition of Banjul roads, which have for a while been deplorable.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer Shortly after the inspection of the ongoing works, Minister Jahumpa said the reconstruction commenced after the president's tour of the streets of Banjul last year.
Minister Jahumpa indicated that shortly after the Gambian leader's tour, he gave instructions to his Ministry to work on the streets of Banjul.
"The Banjul contracts have been divided into two phases. The Hagan/Cotton Street and the Buckle Street/Independence Drive contract has been awarded to Gai Enterprise, [whilst] and the second phase of the works will cover the Banjul North roads which will start from the Arch 22, Imam Omar Sowe Junction to Angle Sea Street. The works for the second phase will commence immediately after the rainy season," he revealed.
He disclosed that work at Hagan Street has already been completed, noting that Buckle Street will also be constructed to reinforce concrete standard of 225mm thick on a 50mm thick blinding layer. He further indicated that the minor works like the repairing and uplifting of manhole and catch pit levels to match the finished road levels will also be implemented alongside the main works.
He however lamented the threat posed by parked trucks to the roads, saying they are making things difficult.
Minister Jahumpa stressed that the government has already spent a lot of money on the reconstruction of the roads, saying it is the responsibility of everyone to protect them. He said his Ministry will work closely with the Ministry of Interior and the National Transport Control Association to address the situation of the trucks parked in Banjul.
He thanked President Jammeh for his support for the road works in Banjul.
Minister Jahumpa also thanked Gai Enterprise for what he called a "satisfactory" work in Hagan Street.
The managing director of the National Roads Authority (NRA), Momodou Senghore, said the pace of works have been hindered by continuous downpour. He however noted that significant progress has so far been made to this effect.
Senghore explained that the designs are made in such a way that they will complement efforts to remedy the issue of high water tables in the city. He revealed that the project is entirely funded by the government of The Gambia.
The technical director of Gai Enterprise, Lamin Bojang, also thanked President Jammeh for the support given to them. He said their company is the first Gambian firm venture into road construction.
The president of The Gambia National Transport Control Association (GNTCA), Mummin Sey, stressed that all the trucks are supposed to park at Abuko Central Park. He appealed to drivers to respect the traffic rules, noting that all trucks that are supposed to load in Banjul should have an out ticket in Abuko before coming to Banjul.