Young Life in Freetown | Austerity measures hit hard

Since the government announced they had to remove the fuel subsidy to improve revenue, prices have gone up.

Petrol, which was Leones 3,750 per liter, has now climbed to Le 6, 000 per liter.

No one could have imagined that five hundred Leones would suddenly be added to every bus, poda-poda, and Okada ride.

Before the price hike, Le 1, 000 was the basic fare from anywhere around the city of Freetown. Now, tickets sell for Le 1, 500.

But passengers, who get on the bus with thousand Leone notes, get no change back.

Bus drivers have stopped giving change.

The same goes with the bike riders and their passengers who don’t have the correct change. This has been really tough for people.

Young people are heartbroken.

Those who attend schools a long away from their homes are struggling to raise Le 40,000 every day just to be able to go to and come back from school.

Isata Denkeh, who stays at Waterloo and schools in Congress, says that since the fuel increase she has been spending Le 10,000 on fares daily.

Sometimes her mother, who sells pepper and tomatoes at P.Z (Paterson Zochonis building) can’t afford to provide bus fare for her and her siblings, so she doesn’t go to school every day.

The increases have also affected prices in the market.

Food items are more expensive. Toiletries and cosmetics as well. Everything is at a high cost, and the government blames inflation.

For Young Life in Freetown, I'm Inyilla Conteh reporting

*** 1 US Dollar  =5,650.00Sierra Leonean Leone


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