By M. Darboe January 6, 2022
Several businesses and individuals continue to scathingly criticize the GPA for the ‘considerable’ delays in shipments.
The GPA currently lacks the capacity to accommodate the number of ships coming to the ports.
The central bank of the Gambia has somehow attributed the instability of prices of essential commodities to the inability of the port to accommodate more ships.
“Shipment from Europe to Gambia is a nightmare,” wrote a German-based Gambian David Parker.
What used to take three or four weeks, now takes us for four months plus.
The port is dealing with ships struggling to anchor. Lack of adequate berth for ships is not only causing frustrations to exporters and huge economic loss to the country but authorities say it’s also pushing up basic commodity prices.
“We have shift accommodation for two container ships at a time because we have a 300-metre-long jetty. So, it’s only two ships that can berth at a time. But what’ve done is: there’s an old wharf. We call it berth number one,” stated GPA Managing Director Ousman Jobarteh.
“In fact, right now what we are handling is three container ships simultaneously.
Although the facility is not designed for that, but we are trying to manage with it because the apron is narrow. So, to allow the equipment to turn within the pier itself is challenging but we have to do it,” he added. The volume of traffic, he continued, has outgrown the facility. See our subsequent edition for more on what GPA is doing about the issue.