Gov’t launches weighing station along Brikama-Soma Highway
By Sulayman Waan
In a bid to ensure road safety, The Gambia government through the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure on Tuesday launched a Weighing Station at Brikama-Kembujeh in the West Coast Region.
The Weighing Station is aimed at ensuring road safety and avoids overloading, boost socio-economic development and promote smooth transportation of goods.
It was contracted to Afrique Pesage Gambia Limited.
Representing the minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Sainabou Humma, the principal transport policy officer, said in recent years studies have shown that the presence of overloaded vehicles on roads have increased, causing devastating effects on the lives of people in The Gambia.
“For that reason the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure deems it fit to sign a consensus contract with Afrique Pesage Gambia Limited on the 30 August 2017 Axle Load Programme in The Gambia,” she noted.
This project, she said, will prevent overload of vehicles, promote the safety of road users and minimise the damages of road infrastructure. She added that the project is beneficial to the road infrastructure, vehicles owners and road users by minimising road accidents that usually occur along the road.
Ms Humma said the government is optimistic that the project will be successful and achieve its desired outcomes in the near future. However, she urged all road users to support the efforts of the government in protecting road users and respect the rule of the weighing station.
Serigne Faye, general administrator of Afrique Pesage Gambia Limited, said all government efforts on massive road construction must not be thrashed by premature damage of the road infrastructure due to the absence of control of the traffic of heavy goods vehicles.
He said rapid damage of the road network would require incurring massive expenditure on road maintenance that could have been spent on other areas such as agriculture and education.
“Therefore, we must protect our roads through the Control of Axle Load,” he said.
He said Afrique Pesage Gambia is committed to supporting the Gambia by deploying its technology systems throughout the country to control and protect the road infrastructure that was built from massive investment.
Sulayman Sumareh, managing director of the National Road Authority (NRA), described the Weighing Station as a milestone achievement in ensuring the safety of road users along the roads.
MD Sumareh said the Weight Station is aimed to protect commuters. “Overloading of vehicles does not only destroy the road infrastructure but also a threat to life. If something goes wrong the consequences are that lives are going to be lost,” he added.
“We should respect the importance of having this infrastructure. If a driver causes death on the road he or she will only say sorry to the victim.”
Omar Ceesay, president of The Gambia Transport Union, said overloading is dangerous to the vehicles, drivers and the road infrastructure. He added the Weighing Station is very important in saving drivers, vehicles, commuters and the road network.