Wednesday, September 27

Ram prices skyrocket as Tobaski looms

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As the countdown to the Muslim feast of Eid ul-Adha commonly known as ‘Tobaski’ draws close, the escalating price of rams has become a concern for many families especially in the Greater Banjul Area.

Eid ul-Adha also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice is the second and the biggest celebration within Islam. This Eid honours the willingness of the Islamic Prophet Ibrhaim, also known as Abraham, to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to Allah’s command.

The celebration of Eid-ul-Adha is to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah SWT and his readiness to sacrifice his son, Ismail. At the very point of sacrifice, Allah SWT replaced Ismail with a ram, which was to be slaughtered in place of his son.

The Supreme Islamic Council of The Gambia announced that the feast will be observed in The Gambia on 9 July 2022.

Speaking to The Point, many Gambians have complained that fulfilling this religious duty will be difficult, with some claiming they might end up not buying a ram as prices for this year are beyond the means of the average Gambian.

Meanwhile, some ram sellers have claimed that the hike in prices of rams is due to the unnecessary cost in the transportation of rams from Senegal where they were brought.

Abdou Salam Jallow, a ram seller at Buffer Zone, said that the cost involved in buying the rams from Senegal was huge and this has economic consequences on the price.

Lamin Dibba, a buyer, who spoke to The Point at Buffer Zone, said he was buying a ram for his family, but added that the rams were very expensive this year.

“I have been going round to see if I can get an affordable ram for Tobaski, but I cannot still see one that I can buy. You see, a ram costing 15 to 20 thousand dalasis is really a concern and I know people like me will end up not having any at all due to the high cost,” he hinted.

One Malick Touray, a buyer at Westfield, said ram sellers are taking advantage of the high demand from the public. He added that the prices that the sellers are imposing on buyers are discouraging many people from buying considering the economic condition of many Gambians.

Fatou Cham, another buyer at Westfield, expressed similar sentiments, saying that Tobaski is a holy feast known for sharing and caring amongst Muslims as well as assisting the needy.

She expressed fear that the underprivileged would find it difficult to purchase rams and other commodities to fulfill their religious obligation this year.

Modou Lamin Bah, the National Assembly Member for Banjul North, said he was concerned about the underprivileged, saying they would find it hard to buy a ram this year due to the hike in the prices of ram.

“Tobaski is a day to enjoy and so I see no reason why a ram should cost much higher to the extent that people can’t afford one. The main thing I observed is the middle men taking advantage of the Gambian people.”

Hon. Bah urged the government to empower the youths to venture into the livestock business.