Vendors/buyers highlight their challenges as ‘koriteh’ sale begins in Banjul

By Sailu Bah

‘Wanterr’ (sale) began at the Albert market in Banjul last Wednesday 16thA scene at the sale July 2014 (i.e., the 18th day of the Ramadan – the month of fasting for muslims).

Whenever a religious feast is approaching vendors, will bring out their stocks from stores to the streets adjacent to the market and sell them to people at a discount price. As this reporter moved around the area, vendors and consumers in the market term this Wanterr as low and dull.

Fallou Joof, a shoe and cloth seller said this year’s Wanterr is different from the previous years, because this year the turnout is very low even 4 days after commencement, while by this time in previous years many people would come to buy or bring out their products for sale.

He added that clothes and shoes are the main things that people normally buy for their families to commemorate the feast, but that it is very expensive in the market now compared to previous years. “This year, I don’t think we can make a discount on the products we are selling because they are very expensive where we bought them,” said Mr Joof. He added: “I do buy cloth from Senegal and shoes from Chinese suppliers but whenever we go their to buy products, they will tell us that the dalasi has fallen in value compared to the dollar and the CFA, so the price has to increase as well.”

Alieu Jammeh who sells cloth also reiterated the same points made by Mr joof and further said that it will be difficult for them to cope with the situation in the ‘Wanterr’ this year. He said that they pay D100 for 1 metre and D200 per metre for 2 metres for the space they occupy to the BCC; that they need to hire a carpenter to make a table for them where they can place their product for sale.

Apart from these, he said, you have to also pay D5 or D10 to BCC revenue collectors as market duty everyday. He opined that if you add this to the cost of buying the products you are to sell, you will not be able to make any discount for customers. He said this year is different from previous years, because business is slow and is going down. He stressed that very few people are coming to buy. But he has not lost complete hope and expects upon receipt of salaries this week customers will come and buy.

Haddy Bojang and Adama Ndure also made similar remarks and further urged people to come forward and buy their products early and not to wait for the eleventh hour that causes lots of confusion. They said they are trying to make the prices as cheap as they can for the entire populace.

Sainey Sissoho said nowadays goods from ‘Wanterr’ are very expensive as things are not easy to get, noting his observation is that business is very slow this year. Similar comments were made by another customer, Bobo Binta Jallow, who urged vendors to reduce their prices to suit the needs of the people just like in previous years.