Gambia: National Assembly Select Committee Visits Senegambia Bridge

As part of their oversight function to monitor government projects across the country, the National Assembly Select Committee toured the Senegambia Bridge during the weekend to inspect and monitor the state of work at the site.

Chairperson of the Committee SulaymanSaho, said the committee was on a fact-finding mission to assess the level of progress made in ongoing implementation of Government projects across the country; that the committee is not a witch hunt but a partner in Government's ongoing projects to ensure the development and sustainability of the works for the betterment of the country.

Muhammed Gibby, a Tunisian joint venture engineer led the committee on a conducted tour of the bridge. He said work on the bridge started in 2014 but normal work started in 2016; that the construction was to last for 36 months but this was extended due to the change in design of the structure. The bridge, he said, runs alongside the ferry services because only vehicles in good condition can use the bridge; that construction of access roads connecting the bridge are under way and that the relevant authorities are in the picture. The challenges, he said, are mostly natural and the only challenge noted is that not all vehicles can cross the bridge.

Chairperson Saho on his part said they are impressed with the level and quality of maintenance work going on and will keep monitoring ongoing works to ensure that the objectives of the project are achieved. He said the Committee recommends that the relevant institutions be put in the picture for accountability purposes; that the green vegetation of the bridge side be maintained and further replace the trees that have been cut. This according to Chairperson Saho, is part of sustaining the environment.

The visiting team noted the presence of vendors who were evicted. They said action must be taken because the vendors are at risk of accidents and related issues. The custodian of the funds generated from the bridge was also questioned by the members of the committee, and the contractor was tasked to fast-track the remaining works such as the toll booth and other civil works.

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