Malawi Fuel Crisis Shows No Signs Of Abating

Malawi Fuel Crisis Shows No Signs Of Abating

Malawi has been suffering from a fuel shortage for about two months. According to authorities, this is primarily due to foreign exchange shortages, which hampered the loading of fuel for Malawi at the ports of Beira, Mozambique, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

During a press conference over the weekend, government officials failed to provide a clear timeline for when the problem would be resolved.

Drivers in Malawi are spending the entire night in long lines at gas stations, hoping to fill their tanks as the country suffers from a weeks-long fuel shortage.

Elizabeth Lingala a restaurant owner in Blantyre market, which is about six kilometres from her home in Mpemba. said she stopped driving on Monday after a failed attempt to fill up at a gas station.

She said, “For example, last Sunday, I went there at 4:30 a.m. but up until 10 a.m., I had no fuel. And I had to leave that place. I am a woman. I have to take care of children. I have a home to run. I can’t stay five hours at a fueling station waiting for fuel, which did not even come that day.”

Users also reported on social media that they had been robbed of their phones and other property, and that their cars had been broken into while they were waiting in line for gas at night.

Henry Kachaje, The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority’s executive director, believes the situation will begin to normalise by mid-November if efforts to source foreign exchange are successful. These include the $60 million that the government claims was raised to purchase fuel.

He said, “We also have some assurance that negotiations that have been ongoing with one international financier, are almost complete and one that comes on board, the National Oil Company, which is responsible for managing strategic oil reserves, will have adequate resources to help restock the strategic reserves.”

Meanwhile, those in greatest need of the commodity have been purchasing it on the black market, where prices are more than double the pump price.

To end the problem, the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority suspended permits to purchase fuel in bulk using jerry cans, claiming that many people were abusing the system by buying fuel only to resell it on the black market.

Source: Energy Ghana

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