2024 Ramadan amidst power outages, soaring food prices

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 By Alhaji Haruna Sani

As Sierra Leoneans enter the sacred month of Ramadan, they find themselves grappling with an unprecedented economic crisis that has cast a shadow over the nation.

With the cost of living doubling and inflation soaring to over 47%, citizens are facing immense challenges, compounded by power outages and skyrocketing prices of basic commodities.

Blame for this dire situation is largely directed at the new Finance Act of 2024 and perceived government ineffectiveness in managing the economy.

The repercussions of these issues are keenly felt during Ramadan, a time of spiritual reflection and mutual solidarity, as families struggle to afford essential items for the holy month.

Concord Times, in an effort to capture the sentiments of the populace, conducted interviews across Freetown, revealing a widespread sense of discontent and distress.

Among those interviewed were Abdulai Kamara, a street peddler; Hawa Saidu, a housewife; and Zainaba Sesay, a widow who relies solely on her refrigerator for her livelihood. Additionally, students and various other Freetonians expressed their frustration with the current economic turmoil.

Abdulai Kamara lamented the difficulties faced by street vendors like him, stating, “With prices soaring, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to make ends meet. I fear for my family’s well-being during this Ramadan.”

Hawa Saidu echoed similar concerns, highlighting the strain on household budgets. “As a mother and homemaker, it’s heartbreaking to see the rising prices of essentials like rice and cooking oil. We are struggling to provide for our families,” she remarked.

Zainaba Sesay, whose livelihood depends on her refrigerator, expressed her worry about the unstable power supply exacerbating her situation. “Without consistent electricity, I am unable to preserve perishable goods, leading to financial losses. It’s a constant battle to sustain my business,” she lamented.

Students, representing the future of Sierra Leone, voiced their discontent with the prevailing economic conditions. “The high cost of living and limited access to affordable resources are hindering our education and future prospects,” one student remarked.

In light of these sentiments, there is a growing urgency for government intervention to address the root causes of the economic crisis. Citizens are calling for immediate action to alleviate their suffering and restore stability to the nation’s economy.

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