Saturday, March 2, 2013

Diesel shortage in Gambia getting worse

Movement of people and goods across the Greater Banjul Area (GBA) has been gravely forestalled by the apparent incessant shortage of diesel across the area since last week.

Crowds of people at various transportation routes in the GBA have been left stranded by the shortage of fuel in the country. Business transactions have also been seriously affected.

“Since last week I have been finding it very difficult to go to work because I am staying all the way in Tabokotu, and for me to get a vehicle to go to work takes hours, especially early in the morning because of the  scarcity of commercial vehicles,” said Alassana  Fatty, a civil servant working in Banjul.

Fish seller Ndey Awa Jobe, like many others, has also been constrained seriously by the fuel shortage and transportation impediment.

“For two days now it has been difficult for me to get to the Tanji fishing centre where I usually buy fish because there is no transport, and some of the drivers are using the opportunity to increase their fares,” said Ndey Awa Jobe, who sells fish at the Serekunda Market.

Commercial drivers, for their part, have decided to cut short their normal routes, giving rise to passengers paying twice the fare they used to pay for the same route and distance.

This situation has caused serious travelling and financial constraints for people in town.
Commercial drivers themselves are however crying down the situation, saying they find it very difficult to get diesel from filling stations across the GBA.

Fleets of both commercial and private vehicles can be seen parked at various filling stations queuing for diesel.

Some of the commercial drivers said they sometimes have to bribe pump attendants for them to get some fuel.

Some of the drivers went further to say the pump price of diesel has been increased unofficially.

“A litre which used to be D48.50 is now D50.00 and even with that you have to bribe some of the pump attendants in order to get some diesel just to continue in business,” said Kebba Touray, a taxi driver plying the Tabokoto-Westfield route.

“We too, because we cannot increase our fare, we just have to cut down the distance so that we can recover the money we spend on fuel,” added Touray.

Some of the filling stations are saying that the shortage is as a result of a breakdown to the ship bringing diesel to the country.

This dire situation is adversely affecting the country’s economy as business and financial transactions are hindered by the shortage of fuel and mobility. 


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