By Bekai Njie
Bread scarcity hits Kanifing Municipality with thousands of people settling down for nearly four days without having bread for their daily survival.
Brikama, Banjul are all facing the same problem after bakers decided to go for a sit-down-strike in a bid to respond to government’s new tariff that saw a loaf of bread being reduced from seven to six dalasis.
Some of the people affected by this scarcity voiced their anger against the government for not being responsive enough, blaming the Trade Ministry for not solving the matter.
However, it was reported that the Bakery Association and officials of the Ministry of Trade had a closed-door meeting to end the strike. Bakers have decided to do a sit-down-strike with the intention of forcing government to accept their demands by maintaining a loaf of bread at D7.
Speaking in an interview, Ablie Ceesay, a consumer from Bakoteh argued that this strike by bakers and bakery owners does not make sense at all, noting that the government has reduced the price of flour.
‘‘Sometimes people blame government for no reason. Why would they go on strike for something that has been made reasonable for them. Because they are foreigners and are given too much rights in the country; that is why they are acting like this,’’ he queried.
Adama Sabally another consumer from Sanchaba, acknowledged that this strike by the bakers is really affecting them, noting that government should call a meeting with the bakers to look for ways in resolving this matter.
According her, Gambian can survive even without bread but argued that the government and Ministry of Trade should be hold accountable if the situation is not resolved.
‘‘The government should always have mechanism on how to settle such situation without going for so long,’’ she said, noting that this issue of bread scarcity should not have been too long for government to settle.
Gibriel Saidy, also a bread consumer from Serekunda, also blamed the Gambia government for making people suffer, saying government should have a good mechanism to solve the issue. He also suggested that bakers should either reduce the price of bread or maintain the usual price of D7 per loaf.
The Ministry of Trade has earlier announced a 30 percent reduction in the price of 50kg flour bag and warned bakers to ensure that the new tariff reflects on the price of bread in the street.
Meanwhile, reports have it that authorities today had another meeting with bakers in a bid to resolve the matter.