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Fuel shortage: Taxi operators worst hit

Shell Petrol Station near Kunste along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway on April 25, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The fuel shortage continued to bite in parts of Western yesterday, leading to increased fares.

Farmers told The Standard the shortage had also affected ploughing, even with the onset of rains.

In Kisumu, only Shell petrol station on Kakamega road, and OLA on the one to Nairobi had fuel. They witnessed long queues. “There’s also another small station in Ahero that has fuel,” Mr Kennedy Ochieng’, a boda boda operator, said.

The shortage was also reported in Kisii, Homa Bay and Migori. In Siaya, fishermen whose boats use petrol said the scarcity hampered business.

Many taxi operators increased fare. Those interviewed in Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and Kisumu said the shortage had led to losses.

Mr James Magina, a taxi operator, said: “I have many clients who want to go to Busia and Kisumu tomorrow, but I don’t have fuel. We’ve been queuing since morning at filling stations in Kakamega town.”

He added: “The shortage has led to increased pump prices and forced us to hike fares, but it doesn’t help, as there is no fuel.”

Matatu operators hiked fare by up to 100 per cent. Those traveling from Mumias to Kisumu through Kakamega town paid Sh600 per head. 

“I paid Sh200 from Mumias to Kakamega town yet the normal fare is Sh100,” said Ms Everlyne Mukolwe, a parent taking her daughter to Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls School.

Some commuters got stranded in Kakamega town for lack of money. A parent taking her son to Friends School Kamusinga told The Standard he needed Sh3,000 to travel.

In Kakamega town, motorists queued for fuel at Rubis and Shell stations, but soon the stocks diminished.