The business community have stocked up on essential supplies as Muslims in Somalia prepare for the holy month of Ramadan.
A spot-check in Mogadishu revealed increased activity as business owners and their employees worked around the clock to replace depleted stocks of essential commodities.
The month of Ramadan is one of the holiest in the Muslim calendar and during the period, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for about 30 days. Somalis are expected to start observing Ramadan this week, once the crescent moon of the blessed month is sighted.
Shopping is crucial during the period as families stock up on food that includes snacks, fruits and juices required for the daily iftar to break the fast at sunset.
Abdirhaman Sheikh Abukar Ma’ow, is one of the grocers in Mogadishu’s Hamarweyne district, who has stocked up sufficient fruits, supplied by farmers from Lower and Middle Shabelle regions, in anticipation of a rise in demand during the holy month.
“We sell various fruits such as watermelon, mangoes, coconuts and ambarella (spondias dulcis) as well as grapefruits. The reason we stockpiled these fruits is to get ready for the month of Ramadan. God willing, the fruits will be sold out because it is going to be in high demand,” he said.
Ma’ow Hassan Ahmed Gutale, a baker in Mogadishu said he is compelled to work extra hours ahead of Ramadan in order to ensure a consistent supply of pastries and confectionaries during the period.
Gutale who roasts coffee beans is also optimistic of registering good business in view of the improving security in the city.
“With improved security in Mogadishu, many people are returning home. God willing, we are hoping for a better future.”
According to Islamic tradition, fasting is obligatory for believers who have reached the age of maturity. Ramadan is a month of peace and tranquility and Muslims are encouraged to observe humility, prayers, patience, contribute to charity and help the less fortunate.