PETROL STATIONS CLOSED INDEFINITELY

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Today boda boda operators in Kakuma town were in rude shock as they went for refuels in the petrol stations and stood unattended to. They were seen stranded in the petrol stations as they waited for the station owners to open their machines so that they could keep their engines running. Sometimes back the same used to happened due to lack of the precious liquid in their reserves but this time it wasn’t the same.

Since most of the boda boda operators could not get fuel, the few that had in their tanks opted for an increase price as well as minimizing their movements since it’s not clear when the situation will come to normalcy. Information gathered from the members of public and those affected by the situation depicted to a number of theories that they speculated to be the cause. Some said that, since businesses are struggling to heal from the impact of covid-19, they are intending to increase the price from the current. In short, the petrol stations are hoarding the fuel and open with a spike in prices so as to recover from the losses incurred in the past year. Some people claimed that there was a real shortage of petrol in the town because the companies responsible for their replenishment have not refilled their reserves while others claimed that the government has increased tax on petrol indefinitely.

From the information gathered by our team, some members seeking anonymity from the public, claimed that the businesses are under investigation over unfair prices. They pointed to the presence of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority personnel in town investigating on the same. The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority is the body that reviews the government policy on petroleum by governing the petroleum sector with focus on licensing, issuing of construction permits, developing the standards for bulk petroleum transportation and petroleum costs and prices monitoring.

The body also takes lead in formulation, review and enforce rules, regulations and codes for the sector. The E&PRA plays a role in identifying gaps in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) as outlined by Energy and Petroleum Authority and develop the necessary interventions to address the gaps. According to the boardy, the new price reviewed for the year 2021 was supposed to be effective from 14th January 2021 to 14th February 2021 which would be reviewed after then and the new pricing outlined. Contrary to the outlined price, a liter of petrol in Kakuma town goes at ksh. 118 which when compared to Lodwar town one coughs ksh. 109, a difference of ksh. 9 per liter. According to pricing by E&PRA, Mombasa town was supposed to sell at the least price where 1 liter of petrol should be sold at ksh. 104.60 and Kwale ksh.104.95. On the other hand, Mandera is supposed to sell its product at the highest price where a liter would go for ksh.120.03 followed by Elwak at ksh.117.70. Looking at Kakuma, a liter is supposed to go for ksh.113.39 followed by Kalokol ksh. 112.56 and Lodwar at ksh. 111.79 per liter.

petroleum consumer pricing as outlined by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority

Comparatively, the price outlined by the Authority ksh. 113.39 and the price in town ksh. 118, it’s amiss and unfortunate that from every liter of petrol, ksh. 4.61 is unaccounted for meaning in every 1000 liters sold in a day approximately ksh.4610 is unaccounted for which is unethical.

Its so sad that most of the petrol consumers in Kakuma are boda boda riders who solely depend on this to earn a living and every sent spent on fuel is an equivalent of their energy wasted. For instance, as of today, many boda boda operators have parked their motorbikes due to lack of fuel and yet the same people are the sole bread winners In their families which means most of their families may not be able to put food on their tables and even their children may not get the basic needs in this tough time. Its with humble request that the issue be resolved with the utmost consideration on the effect of the situation to the businesses and the households depending on this precious liquid.

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