The Gambia’s tourism and fisheries sectors have been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study by Isodal, a Ghana-based firm. 

Isodal has conducted similar studies on the impact of coronavirus pandemic on sectors such as tourism, fisheries, labour in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. 

The firm also undertook study on the impact of the pandemic on small-scale and medium size enterprises as well as household incomes. 

Speaking to reporters at the validation programme held at the National Nutrition Agency, Lamin Nyabally, a consultant for Isodal, said the restrictions of coronavirus aimed at curbing the virus played a  ‘great’ disruption to growth within the sectors.

“Measures that are put in place like handwashing, wearing a mask, social distancing. So that alone was a great impediment to movement. So when it happened, we realised [at] some point so many fishermen left The Gambia especially those fishermen at the coast,” he said.

Mr Nyabally also linked the high cost of fish at the time to scarcity of fish in the market as a result of fishermen taking breaks from fishing to help curb the spread of the virus.

He said those in the fish production and marketing “were badly affected in terms of opportunities, sales, distributions, income and profitability.

“The same thing goes to those who are in the craft [trade] women and men in the tourism sector [have] gone through the same thing.”

He said during the closure of borders that no tourists were coming and hotels were not functioning as expected, adding “there will be hotels but there will be rare employment because tourists were not there [and] that has affected the industry to the extent that so many people lost their jobs.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba 

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