Gambia: Bread Scarcity Hits Greater Banjul Area

It has come to the notice of Foroyaa that the populace of the Greater Banjul Area has experienced bread shortage over the weekend.

In the early hours of Saturday and Sunday morning, people could be seen moving from one shop to another in search of bread. Others are seen queuing for the limited quantity of 'Tapala Pa' bread.

The 'Senfour' bread which is commonly used could not be seen.

In the city of Banjul, it is observed that from around 7am to 12noon people are struggling to get bread.

Speaking to Foroyaa, vendors blame the scarcity on the rise in the price of flour and which motivated bakers to increase the price of bread to D8, but that a warning by the authorities that they should desist from this has led them to withhold production.

Lamarana Jallow, who works in one of the 'Tapalapa' bakeries said the price of flour has increased and this is why there is scarcity of bread. He added that the bakers want to increase the price of bread but he got information that if anybody is caught the person will face the consequences.

"Since last week, when the price of flour increased, we do not make any gain from the business," adding, "we want the authorities to reduce the price of flour or allow us to increase the price of bread to D8," he noted.

Mr. Jallow said since last year, the price of bread especially 'Tapalapa' has been fluctuating, that the government should try to make sure that things are stable. He also noted that their wish is to make sure that basic commodities like bread are reasonable and affordable by the consumers.

Aunty Marie a vendor who sells bread and stew at the Latrikunda market said she has not been selling since on Friday.

"I sell bread and stew for D20, and I was told that bakers want to increase the price of bread from D7 to D8 because the price of flour has increased. Since then I started to experience shortage of bread, especially, "Senfour" and this is why I decide to stop selling it for the meantime," she lamented.

Aunty Marie, a widow who feeds her family from what she gets from her business, said it is very frustrating that for almost a year now the price of bread is not stable.

Lamin Marong a shopkeeper in Latrikunda German said there is no price control on anything in this country. He claims that this is the reason why people can just get up and decide to increase the prices of their commodities.

He said the government should take responsibility on the issue and should not allow people to act based on their whims.

"Since last week ,I have been observing that the size of a loaf of bread especially 'Tapalapa' has reduced and there is no 'Senfour' at all," he remarked.

He said on Sunday morning he went to the bakery where he used to collect his supply to enquire and he was told that the price of flour has increased.

"The bakers told me that this is the only way that they can make profit from their business," he noted. He added that it is true that anybody who ventures into business will do it with the intention of taking something home at the end of the day.

Mr. Marong said if it is true that the price of flour has increased, then the bakers have the right to increase the price of bread or reduce its size.

This price increase from D7 to D8 is the second in six months. In early November 2018 the price of bread was increased from D6 to D7. Foroyaa will follow developments closely.

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