By Sailu Bah Some of the people who were working in the game betting businesseskAIOS that have been closed down by an order from the office of the president, almost 45 days ago, explained how this unexpected development is impacting on their lives.As family heads or the sole breadwinners in their respective households, these former workers have revealed that they have been rendered unemployed overnight and deprived of income to support their families. It is also said that those who were employed by these operations and affected by the closure are more than one hundred and are mostly women. Speaking to one of the former employees, who lives in Banjul, on Monday, 13 April, this young lady, who prefers anonymity, said she is in her early 20s and was the only one in her family who was working. She said she picked up the job just few months before the unfortunate development resulting in the closure of the game company she worked for. “I am the eldest daughter in the family and have lost my father a few years ago. I was the one supporting the family with the meager income I earned from my work as a kiosk attendant. Although the salary was not enough but it has been covering few important things,” she said. Another woman who has been working in one of the kiosks in Serekunda explained how the income she has been earning used to support her to take care of certain basis needs. “It used to cover some gaps in the upkeep of the family. At least the mere fact that I was seen going work gave me a certain kind of respect in the society.  It has been providing me with income derived from the sweat of my labour with dignity,” she added. She said since the closure she has been sitting down at home as it is very difficult to get a job. “Since I cannot just be sitting down to wait for the day when my company would be allowed to continue its operations again, I am searching for another job. But to be honest with you, it is very difficult to find work in this country. Live is very tough for me now,” she admitted. A middle aged man, who explained that he was involved in game betting as a means of supporting the daily needs of his family, said he has been devastated. “This game betting was part of the ‘Taff Taff’ that most family heads were engaged in on a daily basis to sustain their families. Now that it has been stopped, some of us without any means of earning monthly income have been turned into ‘civilised’ beggars. We borrow or beg every day in order to provide fish money or take care of other needs such as lunch money for the kids going to school, etc,” he disclosed. The laid-off workers appeal to the authorities to reconsider the decision or find alternative employment opportunities for them.    ]]>

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