18 August 2017

Gambia: Brikama Women Vendors Decry Lack of Space

Brikama Market vendors on Monday 15 August 2017, decried lack of space for selling their commodities forcing them to sell on the highway.

Foday Sisaho a member of the Reconciliation Team said the women face difficulties in terms of selling their commodities. He said it is unfair on the side of women, for the Area Council to be telling the women to leave the premises where they sell and even go to the extent of throwing their commodities in the garbage if they defy their authority.

He said the Area Council has always maintained that the women have been told several times to move from the highway but they refuse and that's why they vacated them from where they are.

He held that the women are finding it very hard to find a place to sell and they cannot just stay without selling or else their families will starve.

He said the women have been complaining to the Area Council to help them find a place to sell because they don't have space in the market; that despite the women sitting on the highway every day, the council will come to collect market duties from them which is normal, but that the Area Council should also find a solution for them.

He called on government to help these women with a safe place to sell products rather than on the highway.

Aramata Barrow, a vendor, explained that they are really suffering to get a place to sell because they don't have a place to sell in the market that's why they sit on the highway which is not save for them, but they don't have a choice because they feed their families with the little they sell.

She added "the Tobaski is coming my children are all expecting new clothes but if we don't have a place to sell and where we are selling also the Area Council can come any time to throw us away which is unfair". She said the police once came to tell them to vacate the place but they insisted to stay because they don't have another choice or else their families will starve.

She calls on the government to find a place for them to sell and have normal lives like all other market vendors.

Isatou Daffeh another vendor said since last year they have been selling on the highway because they don't have a space in the market.

She added that every day, they pay duties; that even if they arrive at that without selling anything, they will ask them to pay.

She called on the government to come to their aid in order for them to have a permanent place to sell and help their families.

Most of the vendors spoken to by this reporter reiterated the same thing.

They all said that they are finding it difficult to sell because every time they are told to relocate or even thrown out. But that they still insist to stay because selling is the only means for them to survive.

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