Tanji Drivers, Vendors in Limbo Due to Lack of Car Park, Market

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By Madi S. Njie

Taxi drivers and women vendors in Tanji, Kombo South District have decried the lack of a car park (garage) and market respectively.

According to the drivers, they are using the main fish market junction along the SanyangHighway as a garage.

The place they are currently occupying is used by vehicles plying the main Tanji, Madiana, and Sanyang highway respectively.

This has resulted in congestion along the highway, making traffic along the roads difficult.

As a result, residents in TAF Estate in Tanji and suburbs have been complaining about the situation. However, the situation got worse during President Adama Barrow’s last Monday meeting in Tanji, as part of the President’s Meet the People’s Tour. This came when the Taskforce cleared stalls and other encroachments along the said road of the market areas and ordered drivers plying the main Tanji and Madiana highway to move further down about 50 metres from the main junction, close to the Taf Estate gate while some Drivers from Madiana are left with no other option but to stand at the Taf Estate gate to offload passengers.

When approached yesterday, 5th December, 2023 about the situation, Mr LaminDarboe, the leader of the Drivers Association in Tanji, said they do not have a garage.

However, he said they have discussed with the TanjiAlkalo who promised to allocate them with a garage.

He said the community garden at the entrance of Tanji has been identified to be used as a garage and a market as well. Darboe noted that a lot of work needs to be done to enable them to use that place. “We discussed with the Alkalo, but he was bereaved but he promised to come back to us to finalise the discussions for the allocation of a garage,” he said.

He called on the Gambia Transport Union and relevant stakeholders to help them get a garage.

Tanji is a rapidly developing village, without a garage and market. The Fish landing centre serves as a fish market and hosts the community market.

During the President’s tour on Monday, 5th December 2023 the Road Cleansing Exercise Taskforce Members came in advance demolishing stalls along the highway during which a security officer in Paramilitary Uniform and one woman were hospitalized after they were hit by a car on the highway.

Victims of the demolition exercise complained that such will have adverse effects on their livelihoods.

The demolition exercise in Tanji came at a time when the Tanji market vendors recently formed an association, aimed among other things to seek possibilities of having a market that can accommodate vendors, as they are currently using the fish landing centre as market and selling their goods to get income for their livelihoods. Some suggested that the Government should have helped in identifying suitable places for vendors and relocate them instead of destroying their stalls, without giving them alternative places, yet they have either been paying tax or duties to the Area Council.