Kenya news update – Petrol shortage bites deep and hard


A major fuel crisis has once again made life in Kenya even more difficult, as besides record prizes motorists now have to drive from station to station to find the precious liquid and then often queue for hours before eventually reaching the pumps.

Nairobi was particularly hard hit again, but other locations across the country reported difficulties too in getting fresh supplies. Safari operators, at least the leading companies, have for a while now stocked fuel, in their main depots and at strategic places across the safari circuit, to prevent any sudden ‘halt’ when taking tourists around the country, but a key source has expressed concern over the recurring shortages. He said in a message sent overnight: ‘for one it is our procurement process where new rules and regulations introduced last year seem to have had a negative effect on the free flow of petroleum products into the country. Secondly there is now strong suspicion of hoarding in hope of making unnaturally high profits on the commodity. Government should review their rules and regulations to cut out bureaucracy and red tape but also find and prosecute those causing artificial shortages. We in the sector are concerned because it can impact severely on tourism operations, and just imagine it were not the low season right now, imagine all our fleet were deployed on safari, it could be bad’.

Across the border in Uganda and other hinterland nations the market is bracing itself too for shortages, as when it happens in Kenya the effects are quick to spill over to neighbouring countries too.

Watch this space.


3 Responses

  1. Your report is not entirely correct. Whereas problems actually do exist, the truth is that the shortage in Nairobi was first experienced on Tuesday 3rd May. There has been panic buying of fuel by individual motorists but no real problem has resulted. I personally run a fleet of 28 saloon vehicles for taxi services and non has been grounded yet.

    On the issue of Tourist transport, one wonders where the “leading companies” obtain the fuel they stock and how they stock it. Besides, the greater majority of tour vehicles run on diesel which has not been affected by the shortage.

    I take time to comment on this since one of my foreign client directed me to this report in a panic. While the internet provides us all with a medium to express ourselves, how prudent is it to create unnecessary fear?