Dear Madam President,
We, a group of concerned citizens of the Republic of Liberia, having noticed the hardship our people are going through, write to ask you to do something about it. And when we talk about YOU doing something, we have in mind you and your government, and not necessarily YOU as an individual.
It’s not easy, Madam President. And we will not eat crab with shame this time around. We are feeling it – that is, the hardship. Almost everything is just hard. As our people would say, "Prices are wearing iron jackets." And we think we should let you know, if you are not already aware.
Things are very hard, Madam President. The US rate is climbing nonstop, and that is adding to the problem we face. As we mentioned in our first letter on this issue, the price of a bag of rice is up. For instance, we used to pay LD1, 150.00 for a half bag of the rice called Uncle Sam. Now, it is about LD1, 400. We are dying, Madam President.
We doubt whether you really understand what we are going through. We say this because you are not like our mothers and sisters and wives who go to the market daily to experience what they experience. You don’t go to the market to by coal. We doubt whether you even use coal in your house.
Things are hard, very hard, Madam President. Frankly, Madam President, you may not really understand what we are trying to stress here because you don’t go through what we go through on a daily basis. You don’t buy rice in a cup. You don’t go to the market to buy peppers, bitter balls, bottles of oil, make-it-thick, onions, and so forth. If you yourself did these things daily, you would really understand the hardship we are going through.
We know, Madam President, that in the world of logic, it is incorrect for one to conclude that because you don’t live the daily life we live, you can’t really grasp what we are saying. However, the point is that it may be almost impossible for you to understand exactly what the people who go to the gas station every morning or evening to buy a gallon or a few gallons of gas go through. You don’t even buy gas from your personal money. You get almost everything from the taxes we pay. For us, it is completely different, Madam President. It is not easy.
Think about a civil servant, a male parent, who lives in Paynesville but works in Central Monrovia. If his monthly salary is US$100, think about the hardship he is experiencing, Madam President. Think about it in terms of transportation for himself, food for his family and so forth. From Paynesville to town is about LD50. He has to pay the same back home. That means, he spends LD100 on transportation daily. If he works about 23 days in the month, he spends LD2,300 per month. That is more than US$31, taking it at the rate of LD74. He is left with about US$69 from which he has to feed his family. If, for instance, he spends about LD200 on week days and on Saturdays and LD250 on Sundays, and assuming that there are 26 week days and Saturdays and four Sundays, he spends about LD6,200.00 on food per month. Added to his LD2, 300.00 for transportation, it gives a total of LD8, 500. The US$100 is finished. From where does he get money to give recess to his children, buy groceries for the house and do other things? It’s really tough, Madam President. It is hard on us. It is not easy.
Anyway, due to the lack of space and time, we, the group of concerned citizens mentioned earlier, will end our second letter here for now; however, we wish to inform you that we will come with Part 3 soon.
Yours very sincerely,