By Lamin Njie
Assistant Information Officer
Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure
President Adama Barrow, on a series of engagements had on Thursday 1st October, 2020 laid the foundation stone for the second phase of the 24kilometers road, Trans Gambia Corridor Strengthening Pavement project.
The road, when completed in 18 months, is expected to boost trade between Gambia, Senegal and beyond. Furthermore, it will also help in the flow of busy traffic around that part of the country.
Speaking at the Kerr Ali event, President Barrow revealed that an amount of 68.5million dalasis was provided by the African Development Bank (ADB), to carry out a road safety audit and feasibility studies of the second phase of the Trans Gambia Corridor Strengthening Pavement project.
“It will be recalled that the AfDB had earlier provided a grant of GMD 4.35 Million for the first phase. On completion of the studies conducted, the European Union (EU), through an arrangement with the AfDB, also granted The Gambia 16 Million euros which is equivalent to GMD 880 million, to finance the actual strengthening of the Highway. This is what constitutes the second phase of the project,” said President Barrow.
The President further commended The African Development Bank and The European Union for supporting The Gambia in its drive to provide the much-needed infrastructural development projects for the people of The Gambia and the sub-region as a whole.
He added that the work to be undertaken in phase two of this landmark project includes pavement strengthening of the twenty-four (24) kilometers of the Trans-Gambia Highway, which consists of both pavement overlay and rehabilitation works from the border in the South, at Misera, in the Lower River Region to Kerr Ali, in the North Bank Region.
“One of the objectives of the project is to facilitate overland traffic flow between the Northern and Southern parts of The Gambia and Senegal and, by extension, to enhance free movement within the West African region as a whole,” he added.
President Barrow further stated that the corridor was a component of the Dakar-Gambia-Bissau-Conakry-Trans-West African Highway, which features on the ECOWAS programme of events, adding, it is also part of the Trans-African Highway, Cairo-Dakar-Lagos.
“We encourage the residents within the area to support the project, and cooperate amicably with the contractors. Do not allow any person to obstruct their work or destroy what has been done already,” he told the gathering.
In another engagement on the same day, two new markets and a new Toll Booth were inaugurated by the President, as part of the Trans-Gambia Corridor Strengthening project. The two new markets were built in Farafenni and in Jarra Soma.
Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new Basse market, which was ravaged by fire some seven months ago, President Barrow said the new Basse Market will be built to modern international standards and of high quality.
“It will accommodate one hundred and eighty (185) single shops, two (2) mini-markets, a shed for about thirty-five (35) women vegetable sellers, and another for twenty-five (25) fishmongers and butchers. In addition, a mosque, Market Manager’s Office, waste collection area and toilet facilities will be provided.
The issue of floods and heavy downpours during the rainy season will be thing of the past as the market will be paved, and an effective drainage system put in place. Health and safety issues have been factored in the design, and fire hydrants and access for vehicles provided, likewise proper and safely installation of electricity,” he said.
On Sunday,4th October, 2020, President Barrow opened the 18 kilometers road from Kaleng Junction to Bush Town / Bansang in the Central River Region of The Gambia.
The opening of this new road would be relief to the residents of the region, whom over the past years endured bad road network. Works on both the new bridges in Basse and Fatoto are ongoing, likewise the Basse / Fatoto new road under construction by the Government of China.
Engineers from The Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure and The National Roads Authority, during a site visit to Fatoto bridge under construction.
Embed also in the Presidential tour, were Bai Lamin Jobe, Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Mod K. Ceesay, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Matarr Ceesay, Director of Technical Services among other senior government officials.