Internal Affairs Minister Varney A. Sirleaf and the leaderships of Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), and the Monrovia City Corporation(MCC) have reached a consensus for marketers to sell only food items for a few hours in the day as the state of emergency yet to be agreed on by the Senate is in force.
The measure is aimed at ensuring that social distancing is observed in the COVID-19 crisis as various market places can be choked with people thus undermining the social distancing protocol.
The exercise is in fulfillment of a mandate of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah in which the President instructed the Ministry of Internal Affairs to engage leaders of the various marketing associations in the counties to address issues of social distancing and operations of markets during the period of the State of Emergency.
Apart from food items, all non-food item sellers are to remain home during the state of emergency period, and food sellers are restricted to be in market halls instead of outside as it is most of the time.
In addition to the measures, it was agreed that selling will be done on a rotational basis in each market; the LMA, through its local market superintendents will work closely with County officials including City Mayors to ensure this arrangement is adhered to.
Much locally produced food comes for the interior, and Nimba County is one of the counties from where the local food items that include garden eggs, plantain, banana, vegetables tubers and the rest come. This county along with three others including Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Kru are highly restricted that people are not to travel from there to other counties.
Nevertheless, based on Nimba’s significance in food production, the agreement considered that during this period, all locally produced food items will be transported from there to Monrovia under special arrangements in collaboration with the Joint Security forces.
Apart from feeding the population of Monrovia, the arrangement will also enable owners of the locally produced food to have their commodities sold so that they will not perish as they (food items) are almost all perishable goods.