Mogadishu (UM) – Eid is a wonderful time of joy and happiness across Somalia but the rising cost of living and high unemployment are dampening public spirit according to many interviewed by UM.
In Mogadishu the majority of the publuc interviewed felt that the confidence in the economy was too weak for them to spend their earnings on Eid presents.
“As a mum it is hard but my whole salary from my restaurant job is $150. Should I feed my children or think about Eid?” said a mother who did not want to be named. “If anyone cares and wants to know, life has been hard for a long time in Somalia.”
The feeling of saving over spending was echoed by those in better paying positions too who were uncertain about the future.
“I am saving my salary because the risk of not been paid is high because of upcoming political problems. When Parliament opens will there be a Motion? What kind of elections will we have?” said a civil servant who did not want to be named. “In the last elections U I did not yet get paid for nearly one-year so I must save because it may happen again.”
The business community has also felt the impact of the lower consumer confidence. All interviewed by UM argued that sales were weak and they even fear making a loss.
“The environment of insecurity, high unemployment and worsening politics is hurting g spending in Eid,” said Idris Cusman, a clothes shop owner.
“I will be lucky to break even this Eid because I am selling at a reduced rate. People just don’t have money to spare at the moment,” said Asha Abdi another business owner. “I hope people have a good Eid Rod and that is why I am trying to sell as much as I can even at lower prices.”
Many of the markets in Mogadishu are very busy but most shoppers are either looking to buy at a discounted rate or just simply looking. Many shoppers interviewed by UM said they wanted to make the best use of their limited finances.
All interviewed agreed that spending is not the point of Eid but many felt that the boost for families and the businesses from Eid spending is absent this time.
“I know my mum does not have enough money do I will use my old Eid clothes and presents,” said 7 year old Mohamed Abdirahman. “All my friends are doing the same but we will play football together after morning prayer.”
UM prays all readers have a wonderful Eid. Eid Mubarak!