Local water sellers in Barnesville a Monrovia suburb are seeking government’s intervention in addressing the high exchange rate so the prices of water sachets and other commodities can correspondingly fall.
Speaking to this paper Wednesday, May 15, 2019, Madam Martha Collins, a cold water seller at Bend and Stop community in Barnesville explains that she buys a sachet water for LRD150, which contains 30 bags.
According to her, she is now constrained to increase the retail price to LRD10 because at Five Liberian Dollars she will not earn a profit.
She blames the exchange for the current escalation in prices, noting that the exchange is 185 Liberia Dollars for One United States Dollar.
A mother of three, Madam Collins says she and her children survive daily from the sale of water, but she notes that the price of water increased, people are hardly buying the water, so she’s not making enough money to feed her kids.
According to her, she used to buy a sachet of water for LRD60 and sell up to 10 sachets per day, but since the price increase sales have dropped, significantly.
“My daughter, I voted for this Government, we put our son there to make the difference but the way things are going in this country, we can’t understand; everyday prices are going up because the rate can go up every day”, says Ma Martha.
Another water seller, Yamah Johnson at Barnesville Junction, complains the water business is really giving them hard time because it is too expensive. “We beg the government to please have a stable rate so things prices can drop; we are not making profit from the water we are selling, and the little we make cannot feed us. Government, your please have price control, we are suffering.” She Yamah pleads.
Amie Flomo share similar story and appeals to the government to hear the cry of her citizens, saying, “Water and all we are buying LRD150; what will we have to feed our children.”
Papie Tamba sells cold water and scratch cards at Barnesville Junction. He says neither the water nor the cards are profitable now because the exchange rate is too high.
He explains that producers at the water factory told him they are buying the plastic for the water very expensive, so they need to sell the water expensively.
By Ethel A. Tweh