By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambia Ports Authority has on Saturday begun a seven week maintenance on Kanilai Ferry which will cost six million dalasis. This move according to the officials is meant to address the problem of delay at the Banjul- Barra crossing point, safety of passengers, as well as effective service delivery to the populace.

Speaking in an interview at the Shipyard in Banjul, Mr. Nuha Kassama, General Manager Banjul Shipyard, said the ferry Kanilai is being brought up on the 10th of September for major rehabilitation, adding that it has not been in service for a very long time and that the maintenance involved the engine and hull rehabilitations.

He assured that no pinhole will be left after the work, which is cognizant of the fact that the ferry carries lives and properties, which are not compromised at the GPA. He added that the maintenance will boost the speed of the ferry and will ensure the safety of the passengers. He urged the passengers to be patient during the process, noting that the rehabilitation is geared towards their safety.

Mr. Hali Abdoulie Gai, Deputy Managing Director GPA Ferries, said their core work is to ensure the operations of ferries of which safety is pivotal and that the ongoing rehabilitation is geared towards ensuring safe and efficient delivery, as well as customer’s satisfaction.

“The Kanilai ferry is dry docked. We intend to rehabilitate and refurbish it to making it more attractive so that it will be able to serve our customers”, he cited.

He added that the maintenance involves improvement of its engines, changing the bottom, removing marine life, and painting among others to achieve a complete rehabilitation of the ferry so as to combat the erratic conditions upon the completion of the rehabilitation.

Mr. Lamin Jawara, Director of Technical Services, stressed that the maintenance includes sand blasting, adding that they have to change some of the plates due to corrosion of the sea water.

He clarified that have all the required resources that are needed for the maintenance. He further said that all the materials needed are in stock at the shipyard, except for the few of the 8 millimeter marine plates, which he said were purchased from Senegal.

Mr. Ousman M Jorbarteh, Acting Managing Director, said the rehabilitation is part of their routine to bring the Kanilai ferry to the shipyard for dry docking and he estimated that the maintenance will be in the tune of 12 million dalasi.

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