Abdoulai G. Dibba
Vendors at the Trans Gambia Bridge, have demanded compensation for the demolition of their stalls, and the construction of the two markets promised them during the assessment of the construction of the bridge. The vendors made these demands on Thursday February 21st 2019, during a visit to the crossing point by this reporter.
Vendors asserted that before construction works commenced, they were visited by Officers of the National Roads Authority (NRA), and some members of the Africa Development Bank (ADB) on an environmental and social impact assessment; that during the assessment, officers of the NRA registered 115 people, when they were 365 vendors selling at both ends; that failure on the side of the NRA in noting down the correct number of vendors, is the cause of their problems in the compensation process.
Babucarr Jallow, a vendor at Bamba Tenda, said he spent twenty five years at the crossing point only for his stall to be demolished without compensation. Alhagi Jobe of the same crossing point, informed this reporter that he spent nineteen years at the crossing point; that he has been paying his revenue annually at the Local Council authority without fail, only to have his stall demolished without compensation.
This he said is unfair and call on Government to intervene in order to reduce youth unemployment.
Mamadu Dai Jallow on the Bamba Tenda side of the crossing point, informed this reporter that he has been operating his stall since 1981; that he has never defaulted in paying his dues to the Local Council. He also called on Government to compensate him for demolishing his stall.
All the Vendors who spoke to this reporter, express similar remarks; that after the assessment, the team that later came to them informed that the project has incorporated specific design features, in response to their concerns; that it includes the construction of two markets and a compensation package.
According to the Vendors who spoke to this reporter, their stalls were demolished and no compensation has been given to them, up to the time they were speaking; that they are now demanding compensation from the Government, and the construction of the two markets; that the location of the markets should be determined in consultation with vendors.
Shering Njie of Yelli Tenda asserted, that these are their demands and Government should intervene.
FOROYAA will put the concerns of the vendors before the Government spokesperson.