Sunday, October 12, 2014

Passengers stuck for days at Farafenni ferry crossing

Farafenni ferry crossing 
While Yaya Jammeh and his dwindling supporters were busy trying to convince them that things were really getting better, many Gambian and Senegalese travelers were stuck for two days trying to cross the short span of the Gambia River.
Farafenni ferry

The ordeal of the passengers was described more like an odyssey of two unforgettable nights of hell by passengers and drivers, a view shared by Baba Galleh Ba who heads the Senegalese Regional Transporters Union. He further referred to the ordeal as a "maltreatment of Senegalese." 

Passengers were stuck aboard the ferry for five hours before they were able to disembark.  By the account of the same passengers, when they finally disembarked and upon arriving at Senoba they were forced to spend a second night there because the last ferry to Kerr Ayib had already left.

Travelers also experienced frustrations transiting through The Gambia.  Passengers who intended to pick up their flights from Banjul International arrived to an empty airport because no one bothered to inform passenger ahead of time that SN Brussels had cancelled its flights to Banjul - for how long and for what reasons no one can say at this point.  

When these passengers decided to take the Banjul ferry they were told in Banjul that the ferry was on stand-by at the instruction of Yaya Jammeh.  The only option left for these international civil servants was to take the canoes and by the time they arrived at the Barra end of their horrifying experience, you can only image how they looked and felt in their soggy suits and socks.  

Their ordeal ended in Dakar but not before three taxi breakdowns en route from Barra to Amdalayai.  One of the passengers eventually turned to a Gambian and said "Your country is gone."