By Kebba Jeffang
The highway from Basse that passes through Tumana and Kantora districts in the Upper River Region (URR) of The Gambia is in a deplorable state with deep potholes that lead to frequent road accidents during the rainy season.
This reporter visited the area recently and found the road in such a terrible condition which prompted a general outcry for it to be constructed to facilitate transportation.
“This road has never been a tar road since in the first republic. The present government has promised us on numerous occasions but up till now we have seen nothing. The road is very important because it connects to important places such as Basse which has the health centre and is the commercial town in the area,” said Aji Mai Ceesay, a resident of Kundam in Tumana district.
She said the road poses a big challenge to the women who have to commute daily to Basse to go to hospital, market or attend other important businesses.
The woman appealed to the government to construct a good or motorable road that makes transportation easy and safe.
She cited a recent road accident around Suduwol involving truck carrying merchandise from Basse.
Lamin Juwara, a pickup driver, also described the condition of the road as terrible and difficult to use. He said as a driver, who frequently visits the area, the road is very difficult to ply due to the craters.
“This road went up to the border with Senegal and the whole lengthy stretch is not motorable. People living in Tumana and Kantora are really suffering because for them to even board a vehicle to go to Basse is always a problem as many commercial vehicles have now abandoned plying the road due to its deplorable nature,” the driver lamented.
Mr. Juwara said patients and pregnant women always face serious difficulties in accessing the Basse Health Centre due to the poor condition of the road.
“Some pregnant women in labour delivered on the road before reaching Basse. This is not safe and can lead to death. The best thing is for the government to come to the aid of the affected communities by constructing a good road”, he concluded.