12 December 2012

Gambia: Woman Fish Monger Decries Hard Times

This reporter has started a voice pop on sounding the voices of people relating to issues that may affect them in their everyday life. This time he met with a Serekunda market woman fish monger who lamented their constraints and opportunities.

Thanking God, this fish vendor said sometimes the business flows and other times it stops. She said their main problem is the transportation of fish; that they are relying on only fishing as a means of earning and said it is where they pay their children's school fees.

"One of my children even finished his senior secondary schooling but I have no money to further his education and am only depending on the fish sales to pay their school fees and even sometimes to afford daily meals. That's why I hold the fish business firmly. One of my son's Musa Njie in Daddy Jobe Senior Secondary has even dropped out of school because of the transportation problem, said Haddy Gaye, a fish monger at the Serekunda market.

When asked how they cope with the rise of prices of food commodities; Haddy said she and her family used to buy cup of rice daily which she says does not favour them. She said even the rise of bread does not favour them and the cost of living has become much harder than before. She added that they have only one means of earning and that is in the fishing area, and her husband has died long ago. She said she has no other support rather than toiling hard under the hot sun to feed her family. "We the women here, all of us here, depend on fishing to survive. Some lost their husbands; others are bread winners for their family. Any day there is no fish, that day will be very hard for us to get food in our houses", She lamented.

She was further asked how the tax collected from them does affect them; the market woman fish vendor said 'alhamdullulah'; "That if KMC comes to collect taxes they pay but sometimes they understand us because here is the place where we earn our living and sometimes when the business goes well we pay them but other times when if it is hard we still manage", Said Haddy. She however said their main problem is Ice block, because when you don't ice your fish, it will spoil and the ice block is very expensive like D9 or D10, or even more. "when you ask them they will say cash power is expensive and some will tell you electricity doesn't come all the time.

Haddy Njie, a fish monger at the Serekunda market calls on clients to petronise them. She also pleads to Nawec to help them make the electricity situation constant so that the ice block price can go down and so that they can also at least be able to feed the family.

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