Cyclone Idai: 'Massive disaster' in Mozambique and Zimbabwe
Photo: Conselho Municipal da Beira / Facebook
Life is getting more and more expensive in Beira, with most formal and informal traders increasing prices daily, and buyers, who have been left with no resources, suffering the consequences, journalist Francisco Raiva reports.
Almost 80% of the economic infrastructure of the city of Beira has been destroyed. The warehouses are no exception and damaged products are easy to find. Some cereal storage silos and fuel tanks have also been destroyed.
The Maquinino informal market, Beira’s largest, saw some of its stalls destroyed, leaving traders without products to sell. Large shopping malls and supermarkets also suffered significant damage.
This trail of destruction is already having an impact on the availability of essential products. With the EN6 cut, it is now impossible to reach Beira by road – the main reason the price of existing products is rising, trader Suzana Rafael says.
“We are not raising prices for pleasure, you know. Our suppliers have suddenly raised their prices. A box of tomatoes that cost about 500 meticais a week ago now costs between 2,000 and 2,500 meticais. And, on top of that, sometimes the contents are damaged. So to recover the purchase price, we have no choice but to raise the selling price. So a kilo which cost 70 meticais now costs 150. But it still doesn’t pay off. We’ll be raising prices again,” she explains.
The situation may be even more critical regarding fresh produce from other provinces, which will become increasingly scarce as a result of poor road links between Beira and other parts of the country.
Meat and poultry supplier Gabriel João says that the stretch where the EN6 is cut can now only be negotiated at astronomic cost.
“We have to pay amounts which correspond to two to three trips from Beira to Chimoio. We need to recover this amount and, unfortunately those who must pay are the customers. The residents of Beira mostly lost their food stocks, and on top of that have to find some way to rebuild their homes. So they can no longer afford the cost of living, which has risen drastically,” he says.
“I think traders are misunderstand the situation. They think that the cyclone has brought money, but in fact it came to take away the little that the people had. No one can afford these prices. They are prohibitive. Yesterday, a kilo of tomatoes cost 100 meticais. Today, it’s 200. ”
By Francisco Raiva
Source: O País
— ITV News (@itvnews) March 21, 2019