The Point (Banjul)

4 September 2014

Gambia: Drivers Lament Poor Road Linking Brikama Garage

The grieved commercial vehicle drivers in Brikama Garage have lamented the poor condition of the road that links Castle and the garage.

According to the aggrieved drivers, the 25m road that stretches from the garage to the castle petrol station had been in bad condition for more than 3 years and it had become an economic loss to the drivers that ply the road.

According to a driver who wants to remain anonymous, the road had been a headache for them for more than 3 years and nothing had been done about it.

He said that during the dry season the road becomes unbearable and in rainy season it floods and becomes worst and create a hard passage for the vehicles.

He also said there was no vehicle at the garage that did not pay a butut every day, asking where the money is being used.

They suffer everyday and spend more money on maintenance because the vehicles could not take it, he lamented.

Another driver who also wishes to remain anonymous said they contribute money for the upkeep of the road each day and "those who collect the money give it to the area council so it is the responsibility of the area council to make sure the roads they use is in good shape".

He said he had spent D3,000 on his vehicle due to the problems of the road.

He said every year the area council would tell them that the road would be rehabilitated after the rainy season but that had never happened, he stated.

Responding to drivers' complaints, Ansumana Ceesay, vice president of the National Transport Control Association Brikama Chapter, said he had been in the Brikama Garage since 1994 and since the establishment of the garage, the road had been in the same condition for three years.

He said that in these three years they had spent a lot of money to maintain the road in good condition but it was still getting bad.

He added that they all put in money to upkeep the road every year, adding that this year the area council went to meet Gamworks and paid a cheque for more than D900, 000 but they said it had taken them 3 months and that the work would be carried out after August.

According to him, "since the time is far for them and the drivers are suffering", they decided to look for a contractor to rehabilitate the road temporarily to enable easy passage for drivers.

He said they gave D250,000 to the contractor and he sealed the holes on the road with rocks but it did not last long due to the heavy downpour of rain.

He said the BAC is trying hard to bring the road problem under control and by the end of September they would start working on the road with Gamworks.

Meanwhile, this reporter went to BAC to hear their own side of the issue but the PRO's office was closed and when called on phone he said he would reply later.

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