Due to deplorable roads in the provincial city of Greenville in Sinoe County, southeast Liberia the exchange rate between the United States dollars and the Liberian dollars has sharply increased thus, shooting up commodity prices.
A NewDawnreporter who recently returned from the county, said businesses operating in Sinoeare exchanging US$1for 125LRD. Several business men and women who spoke to our reporter blamed increment in the exchange rate and prices on sharp increase in transportation fares brought about by the current deplorable road condition.
They said as a direct result of the situation, prices of imported commodities purchased from Monrovia have also rise. According to them, a gallon of gasoline is sold for 375LRD in Greenville, while outside the city it is sold for 425LRD and higher in remote areas.
Some citizens of Sinoe said they don’t blame businesses operating in the county for the situation because most of the major roads leading to the county are in bad shape, and business persons taking risk to get goods there are being overly charged by commercial drivers.
They warned that if nothing were urgently done by central government to have the roads rehabilitated, the situation could worsen, and create more hardship for ordinary citizens. “We are catching hell in this county and we want something to be done about our plight so that our people will purchase those things that they need for reasonable prices”, said Mrs. FamataDukuly, who operates a grocery shop.
While in the county, our reporter observed that dozens of vehicles, including trucks are grounded in huge mud and had to be pulled out by yellow machines from the oil palm company Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL).
Had it not been for the presence of company equipment, the situation could have even beengrave by the day as it could delay movement of goods and services to the county.
A 25kg bag of imported rice is said sold for US$65.00 in Greenville and for higher price in other parts of Sinoeto consumers who have no choice but to buy based on the prevailing situation.
Meanwhile, the business communities of Sinoe County are calling on the Ministry of Commerce to intervene in the price situation to bring relief to the ordinary people who cannot afford the astronomical prices.
By Emmanuel Mondaye from Greenville, Sinoe County-Editing by Jonathan Browne