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PRICES of basics hike amid Covid-19 surge

By Martha David

The prices of basic commodities are on the rise due to the surge of coronavirus pandemic and the dollar rate increase in the local markets.

A vendor at Konyokonyo Market, who asked not to be mentioned, said life was a bit fair before the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.

“It was good before, things were not expensive, the dollar rate was good but now it is 34000 SSP, those who bring the basic commodities have increased the prices as well,” she said.

Most of the basic commodities being consumed in the country are imported from the neighboring countries of Uganda and Kenya and the border lockdown has slowed the movement of trucks into the country.

The lady said the prices in the market were increasing on daily basis.

“This issue has become very hard for us, it is not easy, and there is no business. We sit from morning to evening then go back home when it gets spoilt you pour it out,” she said.

She urged the government to rescue the situation of the ordinary people as soon as possible.

Suzan Nura, one of the vendors at Konyokonyo Market said the prices have increased since the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

She reiterated that the high prices in the market were also due to increasing dollar rate.

“When you come to the market you get things have increased but that is how we are working, we have nothing else to do.”

A 50 kgs of maize flour is sold at 10,000 SSP and one kilogram of sugar is sold at 250 SSP and the prices vary from one market to the other. 

Another small scale retailer said things were very expensive. “When you always go to buy you get the prices are high every day. Whenever we go to the market, we get things expensively; when you ask they (wholesalers) say the dollar has increased.”

Abraham Kuol, Dean of School of Social and Economic Studies at the University of Juba said COVID-19 has greatly affected the economy. 

He said most people have lost their jobs that they were surviving on.

Kuol stressed that the global pandemic has affected the economic welfare of everybody.

“When people are locked down, the economy will be locked down and when it is lifted up, the economy could not be lifted because it needs to take time to adjust, the economy has to take time to response to the system that will be put in place by that time,” he said.    

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