The Managing Director of The Gambia Ports Authority Ousman Jobarteh says there was no human casualty in the accident which happened at the Barra ferry crossing on Sunday afternoon. He says the goods that were onboard the truck had scattered around the ferry and some fell into the river. He was speaking in an interview with Freedom Radio Gambia’s Leral show. “It happened at the Barra ferry terminal this afternoon. I was not at the scene myself, but the report I got from the supervisors was a truck was landing into the ferry from the Barra end and while it was embarking on the ferry it lifted on one side and the trailer fell up on one side and all the goods scattered all over the ferry and into the river,” MD Jobarteh explained.
“The standard effort was done, and the ferry was moved out of the lander and the ferry operations resume around 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Thankfully, no human casualty, but the goods all got spoiled because they were scattered all over the place and some fell over into the river,” Jobarteh added.
Mr. Jobarteh couldn’t quantify the monetary value of the perished goods on seas. He says the outcome of the investigation would determine the loss incurred from the truck accident.
“I cannot give a figure on the top of my head because the guys still doing the investigation and the verification because some of the items were retrieved from the water. They are doing the assessment, probably by tomorrow, the next working day, we will get the full details about the whole accessories,” he said.
Jobarteh said the truck was on the verge of boarding the ferry when it flipped. The Kunta Kinteh ferry was ducked at the Barra end when the accident happened.
It was during embarkation; it was not onboard yet. This was the ferry we commissioned March 2017. It was one of our new crafts,” he stated.
Jobarteh says the GPA is committed to customers safety and well being. He added that efforts are underway to replace the old rams that were installed during the past administration. He says by October, the replacement of those old rams would commenced in earnest.
When asked about the ports expansion project, Jobarteh said the GPA has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Banjul City Council and other municipalities in the Greater Banjul area. He says the African Development Bank has provided funds for the port’s expansion project. He added that about eighty percent of residents around the vicinity of the ports have now been included in the expansion project. The BCC, he said, has agreed to allow the ports to annex the KG5 park, and the GPA will in return construct a mini stadium for the city of Banjul. He added that the Muslim High School was also part of the areas that have been taken over by the ports.