Local traders here, including market women have begun to lament the rapid depreciation of the Liberian dollars against the U.S. dollar with the exchange rate now at 100 Liberian dollars for US$1.00, seriously hampering their ability to buy from importers due to scarcity of U.S. dollars.
A market woman in Barnsville Ma Martha, who sells frozen goods, said the spiraling exchange rate is really disturbing because they have to buy Dollars each time they go to a cold storage to get frozen products for retailing.
“This US rate is climbing everyday and it is really making things hard for us; we are not selling the amount of things we were selling before because things have turned so hard and also our children need to go to school. Schools have opened and some of our children have not started school because there is no money to register our children,” she said.
She emphasized that the Government of Liberia needs to do something to regulate the exchange rate, which could pose more economic challenge and create a black market. Ma Martha noted that due to the high exchange rate, goods have become very expensive.
Another market woman Joana Wilson, who sells bitter balls, pepper and retail other groceries, noted that a 25 kg bag of rice previously sold for LD1,400, has Jumped to almost LD2,000, while Dollar scratch card is being sold for LD110.
“Even pepper bucket has done way up; the goods that we used to buy cheap at Red-light Market all have gone so expensive because of the US rate”, she lamented. Mrs. Dolo, a resident of Barnsville community said she now takes LD500 daily to the market for food because groceries have become very expensive, adding if you carried less than that amount to the market, it means the family will eat dry rice, meaning rice without sauce or soup.
By Ethel A. Tweh-Editing by Jonathan Browne