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Prices skyrocket in Sudan

January 10 - 2016 EL FASHER / NYALA / KHARTOUM
Bread bakery in Khartoum (
Bread bakery in Khartoum (

The prices of basic commodities and transportation in Sudan witnessed an unprecedented rise during the past week. Many people have been forced to reduce their daily meals from two to one meal.

In El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, people complain about the scarcity of a number of consumer goods as well as soaring prices.

“There is almost no cooking gas any more at the markets,” Radio Dabanga's correspondent in El Fasher reported. “Yet, most workers do not dare to collect firewood because of the presence of large groups of militiamen in the vicinity.

“Moreover, those who risk their lives and carry firewood and charcoal to the town have to pay high fees imposed by the authorities,” he added.

The correspondent asked a group of housewives at Hajar Gedo, one of the most famous El Fasher markets, about the prices increases. They attributed the soaring prices to the government’s lifting of subsidies on the basic goods.

“We pay SDG1 ($0.17) for one piece of bread, while last year we received three to four pieces for one Sudanese Pound.”

“Life has become extremely difficult,” one of them said. “An average family will have to spend about SDG100 ($16.35) per day to cover three daily meals, while most of the people monthly earn between SDG500-SDG1,000.”

“A kilogram of sugar now costs SDG4 ($0.66), a ratul (450 grammes) of oil SDG16. Five small tomatoes cost SDG10 ($1.65). A kilogram of mutton SDG50 ($8.20). We pay SDG1 ($0.17) for one piece of bread, while last year we received three to four pieces for one Sudanese Pound.”

Another housewife complained that the price of an LPG cylinder has risen to SDG120 ($20) at the black market. “If a person wants a gas cylinder, they have to submit a request and wait for at least a week,” she added.

One daily meal

People in the South Darfur capital Nyala, people are complaining about soaring prices.

“Our salaries are far from sufficient to cover three meals a day. Many workers have reduced their meals from the meagre two per day to one simple meal daily,” a listener reported.

“A [100 kg] sack of millet now costs SDG430 ($70), a sack of sorghum SDG300 ($49),” he said, and explained that the monthly salary of a junior policeman is about SDG500 ($82). “A beginning government employee's salary is SDG700 ($115).”

In Khartoum, an angry resident reported to Radio Dabanga that the transportation fare from downtown Khartoum to the suburbs increased to SDG10 ($1.63).

He attributed the rise to “the absence of any monitoring body and consumer protection. Most buses avoid travelling to the peripheral areas as this consumes more fuel, and the total fare does not cover the costs”.

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