Bujumbura residents worried about fuel shortage

The residents of Bujumbura city have been facing a fuel shortage since the past three days. Several fuel stations are closed while others dispense fuel for only a few hours a day. Vehicles form endless queues to be supplied with fuel.

Many cars queuing up for fuel on one gas station in the south of the Burundian capital

Taxi men and bus drivers complain that this fuel shortage hamper their activities. “I have not worked since yesterday afternoon because I have got no fuel. I have spent long time at this gas station hoping to fill up my car, “says Delphin Nsabimana, a taxi man met at “Station Moso”, a gas station located in central Bujumbura. He says he will not be able to feed his family if the situation does not change.

Gabriel Rufyiri, chairman of OLUCOME, a corruption watchdog, says this fuel shortage is due to the lack of foreign currencies in the country. He calls on the government to find a lasting solution to this fuel shortage which has become recurrent since the past few months.

Danielle Mpitabakana, Director of Fuel Management at the Ministry of Energy and Mines reassures that the problem will be solved soon. He rejects arguments by some civil society activists that this lack of fuel would be caused by the lack of foreign currencies in the country. Mr Mpitabakana claims that the government has granted foreign currencies to fuel importers but does not specify the amount.