Abdoulai G. Dibba
Boat owners and operators’ association at the Senegambia Bridge, have called on Government to compensate them for the economic loss they have been put in, as a result of the construction of the bridge.
The association members made this call on Sunday March 3rd 2019, during a visit to the site by this reporter.
Saikou Ceesay, a boat operator said he has worked at the crossing point for more than a decade; adding he earned his income by using his boat to generate income to feed his family, pay for his children’s education, and provide them with all the logistics needed by a family, to live a decent life.
Ceesay said the authorities at the bridge allow certain categories of vehicles to cross; that this has seen a drastic drop in his earnings as at now. He added that the situation will even get worse, when the bridge is finally open for all categories of vehicles. He said when that happens, they will cease operations.
Abdoulie Njung, shared the same view and added that Government should compensate them for bringing development that has put them out of business and self-employment. Amadou Sey informed this medium that they have formed and registered their association. He said they made several efforts for the authorities to compensate them, but to no avail.
The secretary of the association Sulayman Joof said their registered association comprises twelve members who are all boat owners who were making a living at the crossing point. He said when the bridge was under construction, they foresaw their redundancy upon completion; that because of this, the association made several attempts for the authorities to realize their situation, with several letters written to the Ministry of Transport towards this effect.
The boat operators asserted that the letter was written to the ministry in November 2018; but that up to the time they were talking to this reporter, no response has been received.
They called on the authorities to do something to remedy the economic loss they have been subjected to.