Kenya: Motorists Stranded as Nairobi Hit By Diesel Shortage

(file photo).
14 September 2020

Fuel shortage has hit parts of Nairobi, with various filling stations reporting that diesel has been scarce for days.

Attendants at fuel stations of leading oil suppliers Ola Energy and Total Kenya yesterday said they had not had diesel for up to two weeks.

A continued scarcity of the crucial commodity would deal a blow to thousands of motorists who rely on diesel, which would increase cost of transport in Nairobi and other areas.

Diesel is also used to power machines in the processing sector and its scarcity can easily lead to a rise in prices of consumer goods.

A spot check by the Nation found that several fuel stations in the Nairobi CBD had no stocks of diesel.

"We haven't had diesel the whole of this week. The product is not available even at depots," said Benjamin Mulwa, an attendant at the Total station on Kimathi Street.

The situation was the same at an Ola Energy filling station near Afya Centre.

However, it was business as usual at fuel stations in other parts of Nairobi.

"I have not experienced any shortage of diesel here," said an attendant at a fuel station in Zimmerman.

At Gents filling station alongside the Northern Bypass, attendants did not report scarcity of diesel.

Diesel currently retails at Sh2.76 more per litre after the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) reviewed its prices upwards in August.

EPRA said the higher prices were due to an increase in the average costs of importing fuel, with average landed cost of importing diesel increasing by 10.3 per cent per cubic metre - Sh32,632 ($302.15) to Sh35,993 ($333.27) - between June and July.

Energy Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau last week told Reuters of plans by the government to set up a diesel standardisation fund to keep fluctuations in the price of the product in check.

The PS said motorists would pay Sh5 more per litre which would go to the kitty to cushion them against future price hikes.

EPRA is set to review fuel prices this week.

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