Food prices rose 59.7% and transport costs increased 71.4%
The cost of living crisis is affecting all of us, from weekly shops going up to turning the heating down. The situation in Ghana is extreme, it has one of the highest rates of inflation in the entire world.
This was very apparent when visiting Hohoe at the weekend. The market is usually full of cheer & colour with dozens of stalls selling all your basic needs, and a few luxuries. But now it is quiet, many stalls are closed and the ones remaining are even more eager for business from the very few customers.
In the past six months fuel prices have risen 200% and a Gallon of oil which cost 1,400 cedi in June was 3,000 cedi at the weekend, and prices are rising every single day.
The effect of these fuel increases was clearly visible at taxi rank in the centre of the town. Usually it’s a place full of noise, hustle & bustle with bus conductors shouting “cra, cra ,cra” to encourage people to board their bus to Accra. However, it is now eerily quiet. People can no longer afford to travel.
Amos, who makes his living driving a tuk-tuk, describes the situation as, “very, very bad.”
Last year it would cost him 25 cedi to fill the tank of his small motor, now it’s up to 90 cedi.
Based around 9km from the market town, Kpando, most of Amos’ custom was taking women to the market there.
Due to the fuel increases he has had to put his prices up but people cannot afford it.
Now most of the women walk the 18km round trip, carry heavy supplies on their heads all the way home in the heat. The journey on foot can take up to six hours. The time used to make this trek takes time away from working on their farms, where they grow food to feed their families.
The exchange rate has also had a huge effect. It is now around 13 cedi to the US dollar, six months previously it was around 5 cedi.
Ghana relies heavily on imported goods, especially in agriculture; chemicals for farming, fertiliser, etc. It is now 650 cedi for a 50kg bag of fertiliser, in June it was 100 cedi.
Farmers, both commercial and subsistence, now can’t produce as much because of high cost of agriculture imports.
The prices of everything have risen so much that many people in the villages we work in only have one meal a day.
As a small charity working with these communities, we too are feeling the struggles. Most of our income comes in GB pounds (with some New Zealand dollars & Euros too – thank you to our donors around the world!) While the exchange rate might benefit spending pounds it doesn’t outweigh the huge increases on the cost of materials we use.
We are currently working with the community in Lolobi to build a library and computer lab. The budget for this has risen by 100% since we first costed it, only a few months ago. And it is likely to keep increasing.
The need is greater yet the cost and ability to raise funds so much harder. Especially with everyone, even our donors, affected by the cost of living in their own countries.
If you can, please help us do our part in making this situation just a little bit better. Donate today or if you too are struggling and can’t afford a donation we would love to support you in running a fundraising event, contact us for more information. Together we can make a difference.