Ramadan begins, market prices increase

Thursday, May 17, 2018

As Ramadan begins today, prices of commodities have also started skyrocketing in Greater Banjul area and beyond, making it almost impossible for one to conclude that the Barrow government had done something in this regard.

 At the Serekunda Market, both customers and vendors were worried about the price hikes, according to reporter Pa Modou Cham who went on a legwork at the said market.

It is reported that a bag of Irish potato was D500, but as Ramadan looms, it soared to D650. A bag of onion that was D400 is now sold at D 600 dalasis and the ‘mortada’ bottle that was pegged at D45 now costs D75.

Amadou Bah, a vendor in Serrekunda Market told The Point that the price increment was as a result of the Ramadan that begins today.

‘It doesn’t only affect the customers but vendors as well,’ he said, adding it is because they normally buy their goods in the warehouses where the increment begins.

“Ramadan is a month of peace and worship, so believers should have faith and maintain the prices as they were. Though customers complain to us about the prices but we cannot maintain the prices as they were because it is not favourable to us,” Mr. Bah said, while acknowledging that the month of Ramadan is a month of mercy and that Gambians should feel pity for one another.

Foday Mbaye, also a vendor in the market admitted that recent price upward adjustments affect customers but that they have little options, as all prices are equal in the market. “I was insulted, as I tried to negotiate prices with my customer who accused me of being merciless. I’m not the one who caused the price increment, so I have no option.

 “If prices are increased, I will increase and if prices are decreased, I will decrease,” he concluded.   

Ramatoulie Barry, a customer expressed disappointment with vendors, saying it is expected to reduce the prices during Ramadan, instead of increasing.

“My husband gives me a total amount of money to buy list of food items but I am not able to buy all. My husband may think I took some of his money because he loves money than anyone. I am worried about the prices and I don’t know how to cope with it because my husband’s earning is little.”

Isatou Manneh, another customer, urges government to help maintain the prices in the market, pointing out that some business owners have no mercy for customers.

She added that the people should be preached about the importance of Ramadan, saying any good thing someone does inside Ramadan, God doubles its payment.

“On the other hand, if anyone does bad, He also double it for him/her.” 

Author: Pa Modou Cham