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Meet Sierra Leone’s Essential Workers: The Fish Trader

by Alhassan Lamin
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I started selling food after I quit school in Class 4. After a few years, I started selling fish, which I’ve now done for over 30 years. The pandemic immediately reminded me of Ebola, which left thousands of people dead in Sierra Leone and its neighboring countries. The curfew and the lockdown affected business.

The fishermen can’t go to the sea because of government restrictions. So, I get only one carton of fish for several days. Most times, the fish spoils, so I have to throw it out. The price has gone up, but our selling price is the same. Before, there was enough time to do business, but now I can only leave home by 8:00 AM. By 6:00 PM, I pack up, so I’m home before the curfew. But I never quit. Each day I pay over a dollar in transport to earn something to feed my children. I’m a 55-year-old fish seller at King Jimmy Market in Freetown.

Credit: OSIWA/Essential Stories

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