Juba, South Sudan,
Dec 07, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Persistent fuel shortage continues to disrupt transport in Juba, a result of currency devaluation and ongoing conflicts in the oil-rich yet poverty-ridden country.
Mr. Emmanuel Lodule a public taxi driver said he is considering parking his car if the situation continuous further.
“The fuel scarcity is affecting us too much. What I have put in the car can not run the car for the whole day,”Lodule told reporters at a fuel station in Juba, South Sudan.
He added that overcrowding and the long queues at fuel points make it hard to buy fuel.
“It takes more than two weeks to buy fuel from the petrol station,” the driver said.
South Sudan’s fuel is imported through the Kenya’s port of Mombasa.
Since August, there has been several ambushes on trucks and vehicles along the Juba-Nimule road leading to fear and concerns among traders.
These, plus the sharp fall in the value of the SSP have let to skyrocketing prices of essential goods like food and shortages of fuel especially in Juba.
The state-run oil company Nilepet belonging to relatives of the president earlier this year took control of most private fuel stations in a bid to regulate and subsidize fuel but prices kept rising as more South Sudanese acquire fuel in the black market at over priced charges.
A water tank driver Yohannes Zareai said despite the higher fees, he still chose to buy fuel at the black market instead of the petrol station in order to dodge delays.
“We take sometimes two to three days to get fuel at the stations and so we opted to buying fuel from the expensive black market,” Zareai said.
In the petrol stations a liter of fuel cost SSP 22 but it remains scarce since most of the petrol stations stay empty without fuel.
As the peace agreement remains fragile amid recurrent fighting in the countryside, the situation remains worrying due to rising cost of living.
According to Lodule, there are some people who are taking fuel with barrels to their homes. He said this has greatly contributed to scarcity.
“People take barrels of fuel from the stations. You find that even if the petrol stations have fuel, it gets finished in a day!” he regretted.
Due to conflict, South Sudan oil are closed down by the war. While the regime controls the main oilfileds in Upper Nile, the rebels control more oil fields in Unity State.
Attempts to restore and resume production, mostly in Unity State, have been hampered by rebellion but the government is determined to fight on to resume production of oil in those areas.