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Sudan’s fuel shortage further paralyses transport

April 24 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Queueing in front of a fuel station in Sudan (file photo)
Queueing in front of a fuel station in Sudan (file photo)

Reports from various parts of Sudan to Radio Dabanga tell of the paralysing effect the fuel shortage has had on traffic and public transportation for nearly two consecutive weeks.

On Monday, large numbers of vehicles queued in front of fuel stations throughout Sudan. There is a lack of vehicles in Sudan’s main transport stations, resulting in disgruntled crowds of people waiting for a ride home or to work. Others used trucks to reach their homes.

Particularly in Sudan’s western states, prices of a gallon of gasoline in the black markets ranges between SDG200 to SDG300 ($10.95 - 16.43*). Diesel prices range between SDG150 ($8.28) and SDG200, listeners in Darfur reported.

The tariff of local transportation increased as well, to SDG5-10 ($0.27-0.55).

Farming problems

Vegetable and orchard farmers in North, Central and West Darfur complained to Radio Dabanga that their farms have dried up because of the lack of fuel. Resident renewed their complaints about the hike of the prices of consumer goods and food.

In eastern Sudan, farmers in El Gedaref state reported that the fuel shortage is the cause of the halted harvesting, reportedly damaging more than 2,000 acres of horticultural farms here.

Farmers in El Managil scheme reported that the problems have led to a rise in prices for the wheat harvest, from SDG350 ($19.17) to SDG750 ($41). The transportation of a sack of wheat from the production areas to the Agricultural Bank is now SDG50 ($2.74) instead of SDG5.

The El Gezira and El Managil Agricultural Scheme, located between the Blue and White Niles, south of Khartoum, used to be one of the world’s largest irrigation projects.

The ongoing scarcity of fuel in Sudan is also affecting the provision of drinking water and causes power outages in areas that run on hydroelectricity. Already in February, a lack of fuel in Darfur, Kassala, and Kordofan’s states has caused large tracts of cultivated land to dry up in February, as irrigation pumps could not be operated.

Petroleum products delivery

Khartoum state Minister of Finance, Abdelrahman Dirar, announced on April 9 that petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel were on their way from Port Sudan to Khartoum. The products were soon to be available at all fuel stations in Khartoum and other states, according to the state minister.

Ministers and government officials have pointed fingers to fuel distribution companies for the shortage of fuel many parts of the country have witnessed. Bakheet Ahmed Abdallah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, called on the fuel distribution companies to instruct the petrol stations not to tamper with the daily quotas.

Opposition parties such as the National Umma Party have held President Omar Al Bashir's government responsible for the stifling fuel and cooking gas, as prices of consumer goods have multiplied in all states.

 

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


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