By Makutu Manneh
Momodou Sarr, the president of Tanji Fishermen Association, said the price hike of fuel is a contributing factor to fish scarcity in the country.
“Fish must be expensive, and it will be expensive because fuel prices are expensive. In a day, we spend more than D7,000 on fuel only,” he said.
Mr Sarr said to have fish in abundance or to get other species, they have to go to other locations such as Casamance. He however said that sailing to these locations becomes difficult because of the high cost of fuel.
Like the fishermen, commercial drivers also continue to demand for a stable and reasonable fuel price in the country.
Alieu Gaye, a taxi driver along the Bertil Harding Highway, said the high cost of fuel makes their work difficult.
“As a family man, it is difficult to make profit or pay for the family expenses due to the high cost of fuel,” he said. He said it is not only the price of fuel that is expensive in the country, but vehicle spare parts as well adding that all these make their work difficult and expensive.
Ousainou Touray, another taxi driver said he only takes town trips nowadays, because of the high cost of fuel. According to Ousainou, his vehicle consumes a lot of fuel particularly during traffic congestions. He said driving passengers for D10 is not profitable and just like adding salt to injury, the bad conditions of the roads make it all worst for them. He call on the government to help the youth to engage in commercial driving because they are ready to work, but the situation of the country does not allow them.
Ebrima Bah, a van driver, said he has a family to feed and when the price of fuel is expensive, it becomes difficult for him to take care of this important family need.
All the commercial drivers who spoke to Foroyaa complained of profit loss and called on the government to help make the price of fuel reasonable.
If readers can recall, the government of the Gambia said it reduced the price of fuel on January 1st 2023. According to the government, the pump price of petrol was reduced to D75.00 per liter while diesel was reduced to D72.50.
However, both fishermen and drivers indicate that the reduction is just a drop in the ocean for them and appealed for the government to further reduce the price to a reasonable price that can gurantee a better life for every citizen.