By Peter Kamuri
A fortnight ago, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) reviewed pump prices for various places.
The prices for super petrol and kerosene shot up to unprecedented levels this year. Super petrol rose Sh121.13 per litre while kerosene rose to Sh87 in Nairobi. Areas outside Nairobi have even higher prices.
ERC promised fuel prices will decline in the next price review. Any time fuel prices go up, motorists and households are affected directly.
James Muragu, a taxi operator in Nairobi fears the upsurge in the c ost of petrol could soon edge them out of business.
loss of business
“The rise in fuel c ost alm ost pushes us out of business. Upsurge in pump prices does not correspond with an increase in our charges for fear of losing customers, especially the regular ones,” he adds.
Muragu says profit margins have since dipped over the years. The sector is no longer lucrative due to the rising c osts.
“The current heavy rains is not sparing us either. We are being forced to spend endless hours in traffic jams, consuming more fuel. This eats into our profits in a big way,” Muragu tells Shillings&Sense.
Like everyone else, Helen Aoko, a mother of five in Mukuru slums in Nairobi has not been spared either by the rise in fuel prices. “A few months ago, I would pay Sh40 daily to Wakulima Market to fetch fresh farm produce for my grocery outlet. Now I am paying double the amount,” complains Aoko. She says life is becoming unbearable. “You can easily go hungry today not because you do not have food to cook, but because you do not have fuel to use in the preparation of the food,” says Aoko.
Robert Obonyo, a car dealer along Thika Road urges motorists to be innovative. This, he says will help them circumvent the rise in fuel c osts. “To be able to use less fuel, make sure your car is serviceable. This means it will use fuel more efficiently and economically, with minimal wastage.”