Fuel shortage hits Marsabit town - Daily Nation

Fuel shortage hits Marsabit town

Tuesday February 17 2015

An attendant at a petrol station on May 13, 2014. FILE PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI

An attendant at a petrol station on May 13, 2014. FILE PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By KEN BETT
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An acute fuel shortage has hit Marsabit town amidst unconfirmed reports that the commodity was being hoarded.

The scarcity has mainly affected diesel-run motor vehicles and is likely to throw the transport sector into panic.

A spot check by the Nation on Tuesday revealed that pumps at the town’s two fuel stations were dry after they ran out of diesel, leaving motorists stranded.

However, residents read mischief in the crisis and are accusing the proprietors of hoarding the commodity following a price drop over the weekend.

On Friday, the Energy Regulatory Commission announced new prices, dropping them by Sh8 due to a decline in the global prices of crude oil.

Motorists in Marsabit will now pay Sh82.42 for a litre of diesel.

Speaking to the Nation, the chairman of the Marsabit branch of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Elisha Jack, claimed fuel station owners were behind the shortage in anticipation of a fuel price hike.

He accused them of being dishonest in their business.

Charles Koech, a motorist, said the biting shortage started two days ago in Marsabit town and had now spread to Moyale.

“I supply water with my lorry but for the last two days, I have had to camp here because there is no diesel.

“My customers are suffering and they have been calling since yesterday. I don’t know what to do. There is an urgent need to avert this crisis,” he said.

Marsabit Shell proprietor Abu Nassir admitted that fuel had run out of stock due to the price reductions.

He said he had to exhaust the little stock they had before refilling the tanks with the new prices taking effect immediately.

Mr Nassir disclosed that his business had experienced losses last month and did not want the same to befall his company this month.

He, however, assured the consumers that the commodity would be available on Wednesday as he had made an order.