12 October 2017

Burundi: Fuel Shortage Persists in Bujumbura Despite Government's Reassurance

Since late September, a fuel shortage is observed in Bujumbura city. The government has promised to find a solution since the beginning of October but to no avail.

Very few gas stations seem to rotate in giving fuel causing long queues of vehicles waiting to be served. Among ten visited stations, only three stations were distributing fuel this 12 October. Fuel users complain about this shortage which they say affects them seriously.

A taxi driver met at Nyabagere oil station in the northern part of the capital says this shortage mainly affects people who use public transport and appeal to the government to deal with the issue. "It seems that they are the only ones to be affected by this situation. We spend the whole day queuing for fuel. The owners of the vehicles want us to give payment daily while our customers want to pay what they used to pay... this causes trouble", he says.

For public transport like motorcycles and taxis, the fares have increased. Users of public transport services complain about this increase but say they have no choice "Drivers tell us that they are obliged to give extra money so as to have the fuel. Others say they are obliged to wait a long time in the queue, which is true", anonymously says a young girl met in the northern part of Bujumbura. She appeals to the government to solve this problem so as to avoid speculations.

From early October, the government promised that the fuel shortage which was observed in Bujumbura was to end soon. Asked about the current situation, the ministry of energy and mines gave us a further appointment.

Police agents were at the gas station to facilitate the distribution of fuel when Iwacu journalists arrived.

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