The cost of general merchandize have sky-rocketed in Honiara following the aftermath of the burning and looting to businesses on the 24th and 25th November, 2021.
The rise in price occurred despite warnings from authorities for businesses not to do so.
Shop owners have deliberately taken advantage of the small window of opportunity to boost their profits before any meaningful price control measures are employed.
Prices of basic staples such as rice and locally canned tuna have gone up, in some shops close to 50 percent.
A bale of 10kg rice which was used to be SBD$80.00 now costs SBD$120.00 and a 180g can of locally canned tuna which used to be SBD$10.00 now sells for SBD$15.00.
With the already deteriorating economic situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, things are expected to get worse before it gets better.
Speaking during the motion of no confidence in parliament, the Prime Minister said that it takes years to build and grow an economy.
“Equally, it would take the country at least ten years to recover from the damages and destructions sustained by the business sector,” he said.
This indicates that Honiara residents and elsewhere in the country must brace for tough times ahead.
Georgina, a market vendor from East Honiara said she now sells her regular parcels of slippery cabbage at SBD$10.00 each.
“I used to sell at SBD$5.00 a parcel but because of the increase in the prices of goods in the shops, I have no choice but to raise my selling price accordingly,” she said.
“Reef fish is now selling at SBD$20 -SBD$25 a pound so I have no choice but to raise my price, how else can I feed my family,” she added.
Locally produced fruits, vegetables and root crops at the Honiara Main Market have seen a price hike as a result of the recent burning and looting incident.
The general rise in the price of goods and services means that families have to dig deep in order to give their children a decent and balanced meal.
The Covid pandemic has caused enough misery to families and the impacts of the recent burning and looting is sure to further exacerbate an already worsening situation.
“I won’t be surprised if families are reduced to eating noodles because affordability is once again tested to the limits,” Georgina said.
The burning and looting happened after a peaceful protest to call on the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to step down turned violent.
As a result, rioters and looters ransacked China Town and parts of Ranadi burning down properties and shops including a school and a bank.