Hunger and Hardship Creep in as Coronavirus Enters The Gambia


By Makutu Manneh

A textile seller at Serrekunda Market on Monday said they are beleaguered by hunger and hardship in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Sanku Jaiteh a 65-year-old said the latest directive issued by the government for shops trading in non-essential commodities to temporarily close down till further notice, has left them to grapple with how to make ends meet.

“I have 24 people to feed. And the little I earn from my shop is what I use to feed my family the next day,” he said.

Jaiteh said he was unable to provide his family with fish money on Monday morning because he did not have a penny.

He added: “The government needs to reconsider its decision and allow us to resume operations as we depend solely on our businesses for our family’s upkeep.”

Musa Baldeh a second hand material vendor said average people are suffering.

He remarked: “We have families to feed, rent to pay and other home expenses to fulfill. Therefore the government needs to consider our plight and come up with a plan that will allow us to work and generate income to be able to feed our family.”

Muhammed Kebbeh who sells home utilities at the market complained that asking them to close their shops permanently will not favor them for all their household expenditures come from the proceeds of their businesses.

“I have 18 people to feed at home. If my shop is closed, how am I going to feed them?” he asked.

The vendors explained that they understand the world is at war with Coronavirus, but it is also important for the government to take decisions that will not hurt its people.

The Kanifing Municipal Council on 25th March 2020 issued directive for all shops at Serrekunda to operate from the hours of 7am to 6 pm.

President Barrow on his second address to the Nation on COVID-19 announced that all non-essential food outlets in all markets and enclosed shopping areas shall be closed effective on 27th March 2020.