Fuel shortage looms in parts of western Kenya

By Mangoa Mosota

Over 20 fuel distributors in western Kenya have lost close to Sh200 million in the last one month.

This loss, according to one of the distributors, was occasioned by oil companies exporting fuel meant for the local market.

The businessmen said several marketing companies are exporting all their products, contrary to guidelines by the Government.

"More than 75 per cent per cent of the oil firms sell all their products to neigbouring countries such as Uganda and Rwanda," said the businessmen, in a joint statement.

The traders said they were only receiving about half of the demand of fuel such as kerosene and diesel.

According to Ministry of Energy guidelines, oil companies are supposed to sell 30 per cent of their oil products in the local market.

The businessmen urged Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi to intervene in order to curb an erratic supply of fuel in the region.

Yesterday, Ignatius Omboko, one of the distributors, said only six out of the 22 firms adhere to the directive, which results into constant shortage of the products.

The traders said only about 403,000 litres of kerosene is available for towns in Nyanza Province up to Christmas.

The oil dealers said out of a demand of about 11 million litres of kerosene for the region a month, only half is being supplied to the local market.

A spot check by The Standard on Sunday in Kisumu showed that a litre of kerosene is currently retailing at Sh56, in Kisumu, up from Sh54, last month.

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Fuel shortage