Opinion | The cry of the poor in the current state of affairs
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Written by Omar Jatta, Nyofelleh:
Food is one of the necessities that every human being can't survive without. It forms an integral part of the physiological needs of our bodies for us to be able to do our daily activities as posited by Abraham Maslow (an American Psychologist) in his hierarchy of needs theory. Today, the world is faced with an epidemic that is continuously claiming lives of many innocent people. Gambia is not exempted from the spread of this pandemic, and this has led to the curtailment of the fundamental right of free movement of goods and persons by the Government, in order to contain this global menace.
Of recent, many people living in poverty are crying because of the current measures taken by the Government in combating the spread of this pandemic. Many are currently confined to their residential apartments without being able to go out for making their usual daily living because of the pandemic which has appeared in our country. It is quite true that such a restriction is geared towards the containment of the deadly virus which has gripped our country of recent. Thus, making such restrictive measures relevant in mitigating the possible spread of the global epidemic.
However, the pronouncement of restrictive measures is a good move by the government, they have some negative implications on the lives of many people which cannot be left unattended. Poverty being a common phenomenon in most part of our country especially in the villages, has put so many people in an uncomfortable situation because of the current measures taken by the government in the fight against the pandemic. Most of these people are surviving on the basis of ‘’hand-to-mouth’’. The little they gather in a day is what they survive with for that particular day only, and the same trend continues for every other day. Currently, they hardly get that little penny they are used to getting on daily basis for survival, due to the recent restrictive measures pronounced by the Government. Thus, they find it difficult to get their daily meals talk less of being able to cater for the advised cleansing material to be used in their homes to prevent themselves and their family from the famous Coronavirus.
The local women vendors cannot be left out. They are as well in a sympathetic situation as of now due to the ban on public gathering, which has resulted to less activities in the markets. The saddest thing is, most of these local women vendors are playing the role of a breadwinner in their respective families. They cater for the wellbeing of their families, especially when it comes to feeding. Most of these women completely depend on the little sales they make from their usual petty trading in the market, and now almost all the markets have turn to a ghost town, and as a result, they hardly make any meaningful sales in order to take care of their families.
Moreover, it will be difficult for these people to heed to the preventive measures put in place by the Government when actually they are in dire need of food for survival, because food is a physiological need of the body that must be satisfied first before they could think of doing any other thing like adhering to the preventive measures advised by the Authorities as opined by Abraham Maslow in his theory of hierarchy of needs.
For the government’s agendum in the fight against the pandemic to be fully effective and efficient, there has to be a consideration to the plight of the people in dire need of food for survival in this trying moment, as they are being restricted from making their daily meager earnings as they used to do.
For many of them, searching for food in order to survive is more important than giving regard to the preventive measures against a virus that is yet to affect them as they are already affected by lack of food. This is usually the response you receive from most of them whenever you engage them to heed to the preventive measures advised by the Government authorities.
Although, the government is not affluent enough to cater for all our needs, such a crucial issue of the ones in dire need of basic meals in such a tragic moment should be well considered in order for them (the needy) to give regard to the preventive measures put in place by the Ministry of Health. If not, the government’s mission in the fight against Coronavirus would be hard to attend due to the fact that other people might get contaminated by the ones claiming for food as they wouldn’t mind much about the preventive measures because of their urgent need for food in order to survive.
May we all overcome poverty. Ameen!
OMAR JATTA NYOFELLEH
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