Years and regimes may continue to pass but Gambians remain stuck in the incapacity of solving the equation of a poor national road network. The lamentable state of the road network often compels many drivers to take diversions in hazardous paths that results sometimes in accidents.
In the run-up to the Presidential election, some passengers demand that a good road network be central in the agendas of aspiring candidates. The trending claim is that they would only vote for candidates with clear visions to expand and build standard feeder roads.
Lamin Sanneh, a resident of Sukuta who plies the Kombo Sillah highway every day said it is important for Gambian politicians to look into the issue of roads ahead of the election.
“It is important for local Government authorities or Council representatives to provide us with viable and convenient motor-able and safe Roads,” he said.
Sanneh added that it is his civic duty to vote for the right representatives who could provide a good road network ahead of the Presidential election.
Lamin F. Fatty, a resident in Brikama said he would vote wisely in the upcoming Presidential election.
“Well, all that I will do as a citizen is to advocate and talk to the concerned authorities. It is my civic duty to vote wisely” he said.
Mr. Fatty, said good road infrastructures are important to the movement of people and goods.
The President of the Drivers Association Omar Ceesay said the government and politicians should prioritize road expansion and the construction of standard feeder roads. This, he said will reduce the burden on the roads thus reduce traffic congestion.
“We have challenging issues at the roadside. Because we don’t have good feeder roads, and vehicles are increasing both day and night. So the government and the local authorities need to come together and build many feeder roads” he remarked.
Omar Ceesay said the government through the National Road Authority should provide proper maintenance of a good road network.
Dawda Bah, founder of “Save Life Gambia” a non-profitable charity organization that stands to help the Gambian government and authorities’ efforts to reduce the burden of road traffic accidents in the country said there is a need for proper monitoring of roads.
The founder of “Save Life Gambia”, said his foundation has for the past years been active for its relentless advocacy campaign to ensure a good road network.
The Deputy Managing Director of the National Road Authority, Isatou Cham, said she will not speak on the issue due to the NRA Act.
“Please note that I cannot send you any answers because am not entitled to do so in accordance with the NRA Act” Isatou Cham explained.
However, our findings on the NRA Act state nowhere that she is barred from speaking on the issue, contrary to Isatou Cham’s assertion. In fact, many provisions in the Act she refers to advocate for excellence, integrity, and accountability.
Yusuf Taylor, a Civil Engineer said poor drainage facilities are among the key factors that cause bad roads.
“Poor infrastructure which includes lack of drainage and or poor drainage facilities. Many of the roads are not well built because they don’t have drainage and no regular maintenance” he remarked.
The Civil Engineer highlighted the significance of the road maintenance plan. This he believes, requires proper monitoring of the weather conditions and regular inspections of the roads.
“The most important thing is to make sure that there is a road maintenance plan. This road maintenance plan will consider the weather conditions and schedule regular inspections of the road” he concluded.