By Lamin Sanyang
It is more than three weeks when one of the vehicles in the President’s convoy had an accident at Busumbala that resulted in deaths, injuries and damaged to properties. No television or radio coverage of the incident had been broadcast and no press release concerning the accident has been issued.
“We have not heard from any one since the funeral,” said a family source.
The family of Dawda Jatta lost two children in the accident and their third child was admitted at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital. This reporter visited the family at Busumbala and he found out that the child that was admitted at the hospital, Dawda Jatta Jr, has been discharged after spending three weeks at the hospital. He sustained injuries on his head. The family said the child’s head was scanned, but the result was not communicated to them.
“I think we will return him to the hospital because he is acting strangely. He could not recognize some members of the family and he finds it difficult to talk,” said a distraught family member.
They said apart from the fee that was paid for the scanning of his head, they were responsible for all the medical bills including the food and transportation to the hospital. It is reported that there are still other people lying at the hospital. Their family members are also responsible for their treatment.
A resident of Bundung and a family member of the late Mrs. Rohey Sonko (a woman who died in the accident at Busumbula) told this reporter that the corpse of her late mother was long transported to Cassamance (the southern part of Senegal) for burial. Asked what next after the burial she said: “I would not know because the impact of the accident still makes me panic,” she said.
She further revealed to this reporter that there was an eight year child who was with her late mother in the van that was hit by a vehicle from the President’s convoy. She said the upper teeth of the child were broken and that the kid is still admitted at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital in Banjul . She was asked to disclose the person responsible for the medical bills, but she declined to comment.
However, another young lady in her mid twenties, Ms. Kaddy Jatta, was found lying down on a mattress on the ground with both legs broken and wrapped in bandages. She was surrounded by family members at Bundung. She said she was discharged from Banjul hospital last week Tuesday. She said she is a staff of Gamtel, the country’s national telecommunication company. She was asked whether any compensation was given to her, but she answered in the negative.
“My boss is the one paying all the medical bills,” she said.
Miss. Jatta explained the hardship that she is undergoing because of the accident, while complaining of losing her two mobile phones plus two thousand dalasi during the accident. She said she cannot move without a wheel chair. She said she was visited once by the soldiers at the hospital.
“Since I was released at the hospital, I have seen no one to tell me my faith,” she lamented.
Mrs. Fatou Badjie, another victim of the accident was discharged from the hospital last Monday. She told this reporter that the accident has affected her head, ribs and the ankle of her right leg.
“I was in a state of unconsciousness during most part of the time I spent at the hospital,” she remarked.
Mrs. Badjie was asked whether she received any compensation which she answered in the negative, but added that she did not pay any medical bills. She was asked whether she was visited by the authorities, but she said she was once visited by the soldiers at the hospital. She complained that she lost her mobile phone at the accident. When asked about her present health condition after she was released from the hospital.
“My sides are severelyaching,” she complained.
The owner of the Toyota van that was hit by the vehicle was contacted to explain the situation. He told this reporter that the van is still parked at New Yundum Police station. He was asked whether any compensation was given to him, but he answered in the negative.
“They did not contact us,” he said.
However, he said he went to the Insurance Company where he insured his vehicle and he was given a document to take to the police for signature. He said the document was signed by the police. He said the accident has really affected his work and family. He said he is waiting for the response of the authorities.