The day of a micro fish-vendor in Senegal

On Friday, June 10, 2011 we went to Ms Astou Gueye, a micro fish-vendor in Yoff, who had willingly agreed that we accompanied her throughout her workday to make us more aware of the difficulties she faces, and which she and her fellow micro-fishmongers had explained to us.







The day begins at 8 am when she leaves her house to go to the beach to buy fish to complete the stock she has kept at her home. It happens that the day ends and she has not sold all the fish available to her. For the conservation of the fish remaining at the end of the day, she has a carcass of an old freezer without engine, into which she puts ice at her disposal in order to put the fish on the market the next day 1). The unfinished building in the background of the photo to the right was supposed to be an ice-making plant.




When the income earned the previous day is quite interesting, she can buy directly from wholesalers at the beach and sell the fish directly to her fellow micro-fishmongers.








Otherwise, she buys out of the market from them. No doubt that in this second case the benefits will not be as interesting. She then returns home to prepare for the day.








Arrived home, she goes through the selection of fish she will take to the market. Fish available to her are varied: Barracuda (Sphyraena sphyraena), African Red Snapper (Lutjanus agennes), Bigeye scad (Selar crumenophthalmus) and so on. Once done, she gives her grown children instructions for the care of the smallest and the management of the house until her return.





She finally makes for the market and goes off to the garage where she will wait for three other vendors with whom she shares the price of the taxi.







Astou Gueye goes to the market of Grand-Yoff and the taxi will stop at a place from where she will walk to her preferred customers to deliver the orders received the previous day.







She still walks long distances with the plastic bowl on her head that contains the merchandise and can weigh between fifteen (15) and twenty (20) kg. She walks shouting out the varieties of fish on offer so as to make potential buyers well aware of her passage.






Once she has completed the round, she goes to the fixed location where she sells fish.

The place is far away from the market district of the city H.L.M. Grand-Yoff and she goes there often enough to obtain other types of fish her fellow fish-vendors pass to her on commission.





When she settles to sell and must then leave for the neighbourhood market, she leaves the sale of her products to a vegetable-vendor who shares the stand with her. So she spends much of her day at this place waiting for customers.


See more details of Astou's working day on the Mundus maris channel: click here.






1) Various projects announced, with corresponding large budgets, have so far not solved the problem of access to ice. Shown here is the example of a project supported by the French Development Agency (AFD) which should have solved this problem but is still at the stage of simple poles rising from the ground in an unfinished construction.