editorialBy Ousman Njie
The cost of bread has gone up by 20 percent from five (D5) to six dalasi (D6). However, the weight and size of the bread remains the same. Sugar is 7 dalasi per cup. The cheapest tin of milk has gone up from 10 dalasi to twelve dalasi. A family of six, two parents plus four children would need 36 dalasi daily just to buy bread.
This would amount to nothing less than 1,080 to 1,136 dalasi monthly. This is already more than a dollar a day.
If the family consumes a cup of sugar daily, it would have to spend a sum of 210 to 217 dalasi monthly. If the family buys six dalasi worth of butter daily it would spend a sum of 180 to 186 dalasi monthly.
Tea now costs two dalasi per bag. A family of six would spend 12 dalasi daily on tea and 360 to 372 dalasi a month.
A tin of the cheapest milk would cost a family 12 dalasi daily and 360 to 372 dalasi a month.
In short, breakfast of bread and butter and tea now costs a family of six between 2190 and 2283 dalasi a month. This is the salary of a teacher or nurse in the Gambia. Watchmen, caretakers and drivers earn half as much.
The cost of living is far above the earning capacity of the average Gambian.