It's off again for the maritime links between Dakar and Ziguinchor, in the south of the country. They had been suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. A first boat left Dakar this Tuesday evening, September 22nd, in the direction of Casamance.
"It is a pleasure to take back the controls of this boat. It is an important day," said Sarr, the commander of the Diambogne, at his post. It is also a relief for passengers and traders alike: the land border remains closed with Gambia for private individuals, they had to make a long and expensive journey by road in recent months.
For this first departure after a closure due to the coronavirus, the boat is full with a total of 206 passengers. Masks are obligatory on board. For them, the six-month suspension was long. "We are very, very happy", testifies one of the passengers.
Apart from the plane, until now it was necessary to take the so-called "bypass road", via Tambacounda, which is almost 900 km. "The bypass was difficult, we were very, very tired! And the cost was very expensive, we couldn't get there... We were very impatient for it to start," she adds. Another passenger is also delighted with the recovery: "We missed it! It's better, it's more comfortable! ».