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Meet Sierra Leone’s Essential Workers: The Fruit Seller

by Alhassan Lamin
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I started selling fruits at the age of 18, and since then, this has been my source of income. While growing up, I never had the opportunity to get a formal education because my parents didn’t believe in education.  

Before Sierra Leone recorded its first COVID-19 case, things were better. By then, the sales were high. I used to make profits from the products I was buying. I used to stay at this selling point for a long time, and I met most of my basic needs. But as we encountered this dreadful pandemic, things went worse. The price of goods went up, sales reduced, and these fruits are perishable. Some days when we ask the producers of these fruits why there is an increase in the price, most will say it is not their fault, there is an increase in the cost of transportation, so they have to pass those costs on to us.  

I am the breadwinner of my family. I pay fees for my kids, feed them, and provide other needs, but all those won’t work if there are no sales. I am not getting extra support; my husband died five years ago, leaving me with two kids.  

Eating as a family has changed; we cook every day; now we only cook on weekends. On the other days, we have to eat garri, mixed with milk and sugar. During the lockdown, I was not financially prepared to get basic needs. I am only hoping to God things go back to normal.  

Credit: OSIWA/Essential Stories

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