By Fatou B. Camara
Even as income levels plummet for a vast majority of Gambians, providing three square meals a day is becoming more and more complicated; the prices of basic commodities are shooting through the roof unabated, as the Progress newspaper finds out in an unorthodox public opinion exercise.
Masaneh Ceesay, a driver, blamed non-Gambians for the price hike of basic commodities and the apparent lack of price control further exacerbating the issue: ‘’ the price of commodities in the market do not have control, people sell how they feel,’’ he said. “I am the breadwinner of my family, and this is really disturbing me. I used to buy a bag of rice for D1150 or D1200 but now I buy it for D1400 or sometimes D1500 and for the bag of onions it is now D550 this is really sad”, he said.
Mr. Ceesay wants the government to delegate someone to find out what’s happening in the markets so that they Isatou Jallow, a vendor, said she takes note of some consumers’ inability to buy basic items owing to lack of money for the daily price hike.
She called on the government not to increase tax on some goods because this could also affect the prices of the items in the market. “If taxes are increase then businessmen and women will obviously increase their price too if not, they will not have any benefit from the business”. She urged the government to come to their aid.
Fatou Singhateh also made a rallying call for the government to institute a price control mechanism in a
bid to help consumers: ” I used to bring D150 as my fish money, but I now bring D200 sometimes D250.’’
She said. “I sell groundnut so that if my husband gives me fish money then I can at least add something on it because how the situation is right now, we should really help each other, and my children are also going to school and am afraid that some of them would be dropouts because we are really suffering”. The Progress Newspaper intends to speak to the government to capture their side of the story.