Women Farmers Made Destitute by Pandemic

MONROVIA – Weatta Gbelly has seen hardship in her 35 years but nothing prepared her for the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms. Gbelly has never had the virus, neither does she know anyone who has, but she has suffered just the same.

Ms. Gbelly is a mother of six. She and her husband used to farm to support themselves and the family. But her husband abandoned them last year. Lockdowns, restrictions on movement, and the economic calamity that has come with the global pandemic, has left her and the kids stranded.

“My husband left during the coronavirus and said he was going to hustle but since then, I cannot even hear from him much more to talk about him supporting his six children,” says Ms. Gbelly using the term by which Liberians have come to know the virus. “The Corona brought my hands down and I cannot do anything for my children. At least before the virus, I was making cassava farm and I used to sell one bag for L$ 10,000, (equivalent to US$50) and from that money, I used to pay my children’s school fees and feed us, but now, they are not in school.”