By Mama A. Touray and Sainabou Gassama
Small traders and vendors in Serrekunda market and other markets complain about the high prices of basic commodities such as food, especially fish and vegetables, as they daily call on authorities to take action to remedy to the situation before the December elections.
In their words, Sirra Sonko, a fish seller said: “The challenges in this fish business are too great, even the people in the grave know the difficulties we face in the market because everything is expensive. Before you could buy a fish dish at D600 but now it is available at D1 500. Remember that you are going to put blocks of ice to glaze them and then bring them to the market to sell them, the challenges and the difficulties that we meet daily are huge.
Amie Cham, also a fish seller, lamented that “fish are expensive but we cannot leave the trade because it is thanks to him that we feed and clothe our children”.
The latest trend is “the fish are now embalmed inside a cartoon worth 900 D that you carry and put a block of ice if you add to the cost of the fish it becomes D1000 when you carry it. sometimes sell you don’t even have D800 you sell either D750 or less than that and the worst part is we have the fish of the Chinese instead of our people. We urge the government to control our river for us, ”she added.
Ramata Taal complained about the difficulties and said that “fish were never expensive back then because they would buy a fish pan at D300 or D500 but now it is at D7000 or D8000”.
She continued that with the price they buy, it is difficult for them to make a profit and expect the government to step in and help the poor masses “because this business is our source of income.”
Salifu Saidy, another market vendor, said that he imports his products from Senegal and his main challenge is currency: “The CFA exchange rate in Gambia is very high because if you buy your items at a very low price. high, you can’t sell them low. the price.”
“Therefore, you have to increase the price in others to get profit and this can also be a challenge for customers, we urged the government to help by implementing price control on those in the department. exchange and the exchange office dealing with the CFA on the streets to examine the rate, ”he said.
Aja Sandeng explained that a bag of cabbage costs D 3,300.00 and that all these vegetables come from Senegal because during the rainy season most of the gardeners go to “Faros”, they only grow vegetables during the season. dried.
“Do you buy both D200 or D500 to get the quantity you need and the situation of an extended family and to support the family by selling vegetables is the worst situation,” she said. declared.
But quickly added that the only thing that can solve this problem is to make changes by voting for a competent presidential candidate, which means that “we will keep changing until we meet the right candidate for the country” , she said.