Kenya Airways is the latest carrier to suspend its flights to the Liberian capital of Monrovia and Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The airline will stop flying its planes to Liberia from Tuesday.
At present, only Brussels Airlines is operating. British Airways, Emirates, pan-African airline ASKY and smaller regional carrier Arik Air have restricted flights in the region.
Adding to the woes of the local and expatriate population is the escalating cost of essential commodities. The price of one particular variety of parboiled rice popular in Liberia — imported from India and the US — has doubled.
“We used to get a 25kg bag of parboiled rice at US$14. A month ago, it was $18; now it has touched $28,” says Shamshuddin, a garment businessman from Karnad, Mulki. According to him, the prices of rice and other commodities have increased because there are no vessels bringing them to Liberia.