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Sudan cities suffer from fuel prices, power outages

The Libya market in Omdurman in 2013 (Adam Abaker Ali)
The Libya market in Omdurman in 2013 (Adam Abaker Ali)

Cities in Darfur continue to suffer from severe fuel and drinking water crises, combined with power outages. “Nyala is in total darkness except for the hospital and government institutions.”

A resident in Nyala reported to Radio Dabanga that power outages in the South Darfur capital have affected all but the hospitals, the government secretariat building, the governor’s house and the security service’s headquarters.

In El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, the price of a barrel of gasoline has risen to more than SDG 5,000 ($275) while the price of a gallon of diesel has amounted to SDG 260 ($14*).

The fuel crisis in El Fasher, which also suffers from a scarcity of water, has led to the rise of transportation tariffs and long queues in front of fuel stations.

The commissioner of Ed Daein, East Darfur, acknowledged the fuel crisis and water shortage. Commissioner Tahir Sharif told Radio Dabanga that Ed Daein is “divided into north and south, as part of the supply of electricity”. This has resulted in complications in the energy supply.

“We control the fuel and distribute it according to our priorities.”

In West Kordofan, the towns of Babanusa and Meiram are witnessing a severe fuel crisis that has resulted in the rise of transport tariffs. Also in Wad Medani in El Gezira state, the prices for public transport have risen by more than 30 per cent according to listeners speaking to this radio station.

In the Sudanese capital, the prices of air travel tickets have gone up. The price of a ticket to Jeddah has increased from SDG 5,000 to SDG 6,900 ($380) and tickets to Cairo rose with SDG 1,500 ($82).

Sudan’s inflation rate reached 55.6 per cent in March

According to Sudan’s Central Bureau of Statistics the inflation rate in the country in March reached 55.60 per cent; up from 54.34 per cent in February.

The shortage of hard currency in Sudan in addition to the devaluation of the Sudanese Pound in early January has negatively affected the import of various consumer goods, including wheat and medicines. The fuel and gas shortages that rapidly grew last year are exacerbating the financial crisis in the country.

Sugar distribution

Minister of Finance Mohamed Osman El Rikabi said that sugar will be available throughout Sudan soon. What will be imported now “will suffice the country’s consumption need until the beginning of next year”.

El Rikabi went on a surprise visit to the stores of the large Kenana Sugar Company and the Sudanese Sugar Company yesterday, supposedly to inspect the existing quantities of sugar in the stores of Sudan’s national companies.

Dr Abdu Daoud, the state minister of industry, said that his ministry will supply the market with more than 2 million sacks of sugar during the next two days, which will contribute to the reduction of prices in the market.

Engineer Yousif Ali Abdelkarim, who chairs the Federation of Workers’ Unions of Sudan, said that unions will distribute 745,000 sacks of sugar at affordable prices to workers throughout Sudan during the coming period.

* Based on the official US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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