Work on the Trans-Gambia's bridge is at an advanced stage as the construction of the concrete pillars that are to serve as the support pillars for the bridge, have been completed.
During a recent visit of the area by this reporter, it has been observed that civil works on all the concrete pillars have been completed and work on the pathway has started from the Bamba-Tenda end. The bridge, if completed, is meant to facilitate easy transportation of commuters and drivers. People are now complaining about the long delay at the ferry crossing as at now; that traders at both side of the crossing point complain of economic loses as their income-earning opportunity has and will continue to be affected. Going by the project document, there were some mitigation measures for the traders to continue with their businesses.
According to the project document, the mitigation measures for trade when the construction of the bridge is completed will see the construction of two new regional markets to enable the 115 established traders, continue their business activities in an improved setting. Given that there will be a lapse of time between the shutdown of the ferry and the relocation to the new markets, the project document provides a provisional amount of Euro 62,104, equivalent to three months of average income, that will be paid to the traders.
The project document also indicated that a provision of Euros 12, 674 will be made to assist the PAPs including the established traders, for their relocation to the new sites.
"The Government of The Gambia committed itself to give priority to the 115 established traders and in particular the women, regarding the allocation of space in these new regional markets. The crop of traders include people engaged in informal trading activities who are self-employed, flexible and adapt to demand and will be relocated to the two markets to be constructed", the document concluded.
Foroyaa will approach the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, to find out their position on this.