Traders in Bujumbura city report shortage of cement

Traders in “Quartier Asiatique” neighborhood of Bujumbura city say they face the scarcity of cement since last week. They deplore the lack of foreign currencies to import it.

An empty store of cement in Quartier Asiatique of Bujumbura city

At 9 a.m. in Quartier Asiatique of Bujumbura city, construction materials such as irons, metal sheets, etc. can be seen in some stores where cement also used to be sold. Porters who are near the stores complain that they have not unloaded a single bag of cement since the morning.

One trader in the same locality says he does not have cement since the last three days. “There is no cement. I have only metal sheets,” he says, adding that wholesalers bring little cement which cannot last in the store.

The same trader says the lack of foreign currencies is behind the shortage of Dangote cement that is imported from overseas. “If we do not have foreign currencies, the import of cement is impossible,” he adds.

He says many clients are angry at traders thinking they have hidden it.
At another store in the same locality, there are five bags of Dangote cement. A trader says it is about to finish while he does not have foreign currencies to import it.
“We have a little of Dangote cement,” says one wholesaler of cement in Quartier Asiatique, adding that clients cannot be satisfied at all.

He says the price has also increased. “A bag of Dangote cement is sold at BIF 36,000 while it was at BIF 34,000 in the previous days,” he adds.
As for cement made by Burundi Cement Company-BUCECO, the same wholesaler says he used to get two or three trucks of it every week.

“Nowadays I can hardly get one truck and this cannot be enough for my clients,” he adds.
“I have passed by three stores looking for cement in vain,” complains one client.
She also says she is likely to stop building her house since there is no cement.

It is not the first time that the shortage of cement is reported in Bujumbura city. Last month, the scarcity of cement made by BUCECO was also reported . BUCECO Managing Director said that the company produces a sufficient quantity of cement.