Traders in Freetown
By Mohamed Amara Gando
Businesspeople and commuters have expressed dissatisfaction over the continued closure of Sierra Leone land borders with Guinea and Liberia and are calling on the authorities to reopen them.
Speaking to Beyond Borders, a store owner, Sulaiman Barrie said the closure of the Sierra Leone-Guinea border due to the Covid-19 has hampered businesses in the country, especially for some of them who travel to Guinea on business ventures. Barrie noted that the closure has seriously affected his business. “I used to travel to Guinea and back about thrice a week but since the inception of Coronavirus, I now travel to Guinea once a week. We are really going through a lot right now; business is not easy with us presently. We are appealing to the two countries to think about us and reopen the border,” he appealed.
Expressing her dissatisfaction to this medium, a trader at the Guinea Store, Mariama Sesay said the closure of the border has cost huge damage to her business. “I am really suffering now. It has affected me greatly because buyers are no longer coming to us the way they used to and we are not going to Guinea any longer. Businesses are not flowing anymore because of the Sierra Leone-Guinea boundary shutdown. We are calling on authorities to hang heads with their Guinean counterparts to ease the restrictions,” she expressed.
A buyer from the Guinea store, Mariama Conteh said she used to buy goods from the Guinea stores but said she now finds it difficult to buy items. “I used to buy goods from Guinea store for sale to my customers but because of the border closure and scarcity in goods, my business has been seriously affected,” she explained.
Many people are of the opinion that the crossing point of the two nations should be reopened with established Covid-19 precautionary measures.
Beyond Borders have gathered that although the land borders remain officially closed, movement across the Sierra Leone-Guinea border and the Sierra Leone –Liberia are ongoing amid insane extortion by border authorities.