IMPACT OF THE BORDER CLOSURE ON THE RURAL COMMUNITIES

Abdoulie G. Dibba

Some rural communities in the Gambia have started feeling the impact of the closure of the borders with Senegal as a result of the protest by the latter’s road transport unions to a ‘new tariff’ imposed on their trucks entering the country.

When this reporter visited Lower Nuimi on Saturday 19 February, Kumba Faal, a woman who barters agricultural produce for fresh fish from Senegalese fishmongers, revealed that this form of trade is badly affected as the vehicles that bring them are not allowed to enter The Gambia because of the border closure.

“We have been depending on these fishmongers to provide us with fresh fish in exchange for whatever agricultural produce we have in our possession,” she said.

She said the fish they get from this barter trade helps to supplement their diets.
Sohna Ceesay, another woman in Illiassa District, also confirmed the difficulties they are experiencing now as a result of the border closure as it is affecting their barter trade with Senegalese traders who are no longer coming.

She appealed to authorities in the two countries of Gambia and Senegal to sit down and resolve this issue amicably as the continued impasse is seriously affecting their livelihoods.

Readers would recall that Foroyaa reported earlier on the issue of
rural women bartering farm produce for fish in rural Gambia from
fishmonger.

It was earlier reported in the Foroyaa that women in the northern part of the country have been ingenious in introducing barter trade with people bringing fish from neighbouring Senegal in exchange for agricultural produce, particularly cereals, which they collect from the farms. These traders from are said to be coming with vehicles to load whatever produce they can get from the women farmers to take back to Senegal.

Now this trade is said to be in jeopardy because of the present closure of the borders between The Gambia and Senegal.