By Kadiatu Lamrana Jalloh
Kambia, SIERRA LEONE – In the past few days, residents of Kambia, particularly bike riders and drivers, have faced significant challenges due to a shortage of fuel. The cause of this scarcity remains unclear, but unconfirmed reports suggest that the aftermath of an accident in neighbouring Guinea has increased fuel demand from Kambia District, resulting in a shortage for local citizens.
In an interview with Mohamed M. Kamara, a young bike rider whose livelihood depends on town services, he shared the hardships he and others have endured during this fuel crisis. Kamara expressed his belief that the surge in demand from Guineans, coupled with potential disruptions in the fuel supply chain, has contributed to the scarcity.
“Riding has been very difficult these days because there is a fuel scarcity at the filling stations, and currently, three (3) litres of fuel cost 120 NLEs at the black market,” Kamara explained. He highlighted the challenges of spending hours at filling stations, sometimes leaving with only one litre or none at all. The black market, where fuel is available but at an increased cost of 40 NLEs per litre, has become a necessary but financially burdensome alternative.
Kamara detailed the economic strain on bike riders, including increased expenses, difficulties in refilling, and challenges in negotiating new transport fares with passengers. He noted that some passengers resist the adjusted fares, leading to decreased business for the riders.
Concerned about the impact on their daily earnings, Kamara urged the government to intervene and address the fuel shortage. He emphasized the collective plea of bike riders and drivers in Kambia District, urging authorities to find a swift resolution to their plight.
As the fuel shortage persists, residents hope for a prompt solution to alleviate the challenges faced by those who rely on transportation services for their livelihoods. KLJ/24/12/2023