Tanji women fish traders lament the impact of COVID-19

By Alieu Ceesay

Women fish traders at Tanji say that Covid-19 has adversely impacted on their business.

The women, who variously sell their fish at the beach side, the local markets or on the streets, told The Progress Newspaper that the declining fortunes in their business, as a result of the global pandemic has affected their livelihood.

Bintou Suwaneh, a fish vendor, said their fish supply drastically reduced when Covid-19 was at its peak, due the absence of non-Gambian fishermen who were unable to enter the country due to border closure.

“Senegalese that were in Senegal during the pandemic could not come back as borders were closed, so the few Gambian fishermen who were here could not supply us with enough fish, because fish goes to many places, this brought a lot of difficulties on us,” she said.

Another fish trader, Fatou Bawo, said their income has dwindled significantly, because customers are no longer buying fish as before.

“The pandemic caused a lot of difficulties for our fishing business, we don’t have fish, and the price of [fish] is high too; selling becomes difficult as our customers are not buying like before; that also adds to our financial challenges,” she  added.

Jainaba Jaiteh, a Senior Fisheries Assistant at the Tanji Fish Landing Site, highlighted some of the constraints of the Tanji fish traders since the outbreak of the pandemic.

She said: “Women [Tanji women fish traders] were not supplied with enough fish to market during the pandemic; they [Tanji women fisher folk] got fish from Kafunting which was not enough, this put them in a financial.”

She added that another challenge the women are facing is the lack of a cold storage facility to store their fish.

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