Liberians Cry Out as Hardship Bites Harder
Gbarnga; Ganta – Residents of Bong and Nimba Counties have decried the present economic hardship in the country and called on President George Manneh Weah to urgently address the current rate of inflation.
Report By Selma Lomax, [email protected]
In separate interviews, these rural dwellers said the current inflationary rate had adversely affected the cost of essential goods and services.
According to them, the effect of the economic recession had brought untold hardship, making the cost of living unbearable for many of them. They called on President George Manneh Weah to address the economic downturn in order to ameliorate the suffering of the people.
Mr. Vamuyan Sesay, a money exchanger in Gbarnga, said the value of the Liberian dollar continues to plunge against the United States dollars due to the high inflation while prices of commodities were on the steady increase.
He said Liberians are suffering untold social and economic hardship and appeal to the President to take steps to address the prevailing economic woes.
“The pains are becoming unbearable and people can hardly afford food to eat by the day while the prices of goods keep increasing daily,” he said.
Derrick Yormie, a classroom teacher said things have become so difficult for him and his family since the inception of the George Weah regime. “I don’t realize anything when the month ends because things’ prices have soared. Besides, I have to pay my children’s school fees from the same small salary.”
Jerry Dolo, a resident of Gompa City in Nimba County, urged the government to bring out palliatives to cushion the current hardship. Dolo said the current economic climate is biting much harder on ordinary citizens.
The president of the Bong Motor Cycle Union, Samuel Elliot, advised the President to regulate food prices to cushion the effect of hardship. He argued that if the measure is not taken, Liberians will continue to suffer.
An investigation on food prices in Gbarnga and Ganta show that food price has hit the roof in these places.
“Food prices have really gone high. My children and I have been surviving by God’s grace. It has not been easy to pay my children’s school fees,” a widowed mother complained.
In Gbarnga, one Grace Dolo complained that eating is now a challenge for her family. “Life is not easy with the increase in everything and money is hard to get. It is not easy to get jobs, and even those with jobs, their salaries are not enough to take of their daily needs. The situation has forced many of us to withdraw from private schools back to government schools as an alternative for them to pursue their education,” she said.
Another person, Nyanpu Barclay said: “I have six children in the St. Martin’s Catholic School, but with the increase in their school fees by 10 per cent, I can’t afford to continue paying their school fees.”
Grace Bondo, a housewife in Gompa (Ganta), lamented: “Prices of everything have gone up in the market. I used to sell my cooked bowl with L$2,500, but today it is not possible. I usually spend L$4,500 to buy foodstuffs.
“The person who I buy fish from told me that the price of a carton of fish now sells for L$2,000. The worst thing is that any foodstuff you buy today the price will increase before two days. This is a terrible situation happening in the country. The government should do something about it.”Emmanuel Binda, who sells slippers in Gbarnga market, said he doesn’t realize anything from the sales. According to him, things are not like few years ago when proceeds/profits from his business enabled him to construct a three-bedroom house for himself and sent his two children to school. “Right now, it is like from hand to mouth. No sales. We come here as early as 8 am and only get two or three customers daily. Everybody keeps complaining about how things are hard on them.”