The fish markets, most of which are dominated by Senegalese is feeling the squeeze of the Gambia’s political standoff that is entering its second month.
Many of the fishermen are leaving the Gambia over safety concerns to neighboring Senegal. The sudden departures have affected supply and caused a sharp increase in the wholesale prices.
Haddy Nyang a market vendor at the Serekunda fish market said the prices of fish are much higher now compared to previous fees charged by fishermen before the political impasse.
Ms. Nyang’s earnings have been reduced significantly since the crisis started and “losing hundred of dalasis.”
“If I compare my earning before the crisis started and now I am losing hundreds of Dalasis of profits, due to the high cost and shortages of fish,” she said.
Even with the wholesale price increase, retailers are sacrificing profits in an attempt to keep the price steady.
She said the rise in prices was caused by the scarcity of fish in meeting the country’s consumption demands which were triggered by the movement of Senegalese out of the country due to the political situation.
Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has been urged to step down by the country’s Chamber of Commerce. Jammeh suffered defeat in the hands of a political novice, Adama Barrow, who is backed by seven opposition groups.
Jammeh initially accepted defeat but made a political grope refusing to hand over power. It is threatening the peace in the tiny country as many ditches to safety.
(Reporting and Writing by Mustapha Darboe; Reporting from Torch Gambia; Additional Writing and Editing by Sam Phatey)