What you need to know:
- Government officials have attributed the fuel shortage and skyrocketing prices to the heavy traffic jam of fuel tankers at the Kenya-Uganda border points of Malaba and Busia.
Fuel pumps in various parts of Uganda, especially western parts of the country are running dry.
This has sent prices of the product up, with some places registering a record of USh12, 000 per litre of petrol while other fuel stations across the country have been left without a drop of the precious stock.
Officials in government have attributed the shortage and skyrocketing prices to the heavy traffic jam of trailers, including fuel tankers at the Kenya-Uganda border points of Malaba and Busia following a protest by cargo drivers over Uganda’s decision to impose a $30 charge for Covid-19 test.
As a result, Uganda's Oil Marketing Companies have most of their trucks in the traffic between the Kenya loading points and the borders.
Following protests by cargo drivers, the Ministry of Health commenced free Covid-19 testing at the Malaba and Busia border points on January 12.
“And once cleared in a few days, supply and prices will rerun to normal, and there is no need for public to panic,” Uganda’s ministry of energy said in a Saturday morning statement.
According to government, supply was normal, with trucks being cleared as usual, and drivers were allowed to present negative Covid-19 results from Kenya until January 1, 2022, when a directive was issued requiring all truck drivers to undergo testing at the Malaba and Busia entry points.
“This resulted in a buildup of trucks as none were entering the country. Following the failure to maintain replenishment of stocks and where trucks had spent 10 days in the queue, the turnaround time was affected and reduced stocks for petroleum products in the country,” the statement added.
Uganda is a net importer of petroleum products with an average daily consumption of 6.5 million litres, according to government. The country loads its products through the terminals in the neighboring Kenya (in Eldoret, Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa) and supply is majorly through road transport.
“Speculators hoarding petroleum products and leading to an unnecessary hike in fuel prices are advised to desist from this bad practice. The price of petrol in the country should not exceed Shs5,000 per litre. The cases of scarcity in districts such as Hoima will be addressed shortly with the ongoing replenishment. The government is doing everything possible to prioritize the handling of Petroleum Products at the borders to ensure build up in-stock levels in the country,” the Ministry of Energy added.