Movement of people and goods across the Gambia, particularly the Greater Banjul Area (GBA), has been gravely hampered by the apparent incessant shortage of diesel fuel across the area since last week.
Crowds of people at various transportation routes in the GBA have been left stranded by the shortage of fuel in the country. Business transactions have also been seriously affected.
“Since last week, I have been finding it very difficult to go to work because I am staying all the way in Tabokoto, and for me to get a vehicle to go to work takes hours, especially early in the morning because of the scarcity of commercial vehicles,” said Alassana Fatty, a civil servant working in Banjul.
Fish seller Ndey Awa Jobe, like many others, has also been seriously constrained by the fuel shortage and transportation impediment.
“For two days now it has been difficult for me to get to the Tanji fishing center where I usually buy fish because there is no transport, and some of the drivers are using the opportunity to increase their fares,” said Ndey Awa Jobe, who sells fish at the Serekunda Market.
Commercial drivers, for their part, have decided to cut short their normal routes, giving rise to passengers paying twice the fare they used to pay for the same route and distance.
This situation has caused serious travelling and financial constraints for many people, particularly around the GBA.
Commercial drivers themselves are however complaining about the situation, saying they find it very difficult to get diesel from filling stations across the country.
Fleets of both commercial and private vehicles can be seen parked at various filling stations queuing for diesel.
Some of the commercial drivers said they sometimes have to bribe pump attendants for them to get some fuel. Some of the drivers went further to say the pump price of diesel has been increased unofficially.
“A liter of fuel, which used to cost D48.50 (US$1.50) is now D50.00 (US$1.60) and even with that you have to bribe some of the pump attendants in order to get some diesel just to continue in business,” said Kebba Touray, a taxi driver plying the Tabokoto-Westfield route.
“We too, because we cannot increase our fare, we just have to cut down the distance so that we can recover the money we spend on fuel,” added Touray.
Some of the filling stations are attributing the shortage to a breakdown of the ship bringing diesel to the country.
This dire situation is adversely affecting the country’s economy as business and financial transactions are hindered by the shortage of fuel and mobility.
Source African Press Agency
African News from NetNewsPublisher.com