Lakes state, News

Rumbek fuel stations close over price dispute, shortage heightens

By Yang Ater Yang


Rumbek Town, of Lakes State, is grappling with a fuel shortage after petrol station owners shut down operations due to a disagreement with the State government on fixed fuel prices.

Currently, fuel is only available on the black market at a staggering price of 10,000 SSP per litre, four times higher than the government’s regulated price of 2,400 SSP.

Fuel station owners argue that the government-set price is not sustainable due to the fluctuating dollar rate.

They requested an increase to 3,200 SSP per liter, which would better reflect the cost of acquiring fuel from Juba (priced at 3,000 SSP per liter) and transporting it to Rumbek.

Stations Cite Dollar Fluctuations

Abdul Fatah Juma, manager of Rafikic Petroleum Station, explained the station owners’ perspective on the fuel crisis.

“The problem is the price of fuel. The price we’re selling at is 2,400 SSP, but we requested 3,200 SSP from the government to cope with the economic crisis” said Juma.

“The dollar rate is up and down, and fuel costs 3,000 SSP per liter in Juba. We bring fuel directly from Kenya to Rumbek. We can’t operate at a loss selling for 2,400 SSP, which is why many stations have closed,” he added.

The fuel crisis has significantly impacted boda-boda riders, a crucial mode of transportation in Rumbek.

Joseph Makur, a boda-boda rider in Rumbek town, expressed his frustration over the issue.

“The price is too expensive. It’s affecting us a lot. Everything is expensive because of the dollar, even fuel, which is now 10,000 SSP in the black market” said Makur.

Community Calls for Resolution

The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) expressed concern about the fuel shortage and the high black-market prices.

Daniel Laat Kon, a CEPO representative in Lakes state, questioned the government’s approach on regulating the fuel prices.

“Why not listen to the station managers’ request for a 3,000 SSP price? We have enough fuel, but people are forced to the black market and pay 10,000 SSP. The state government should listen to the station managers,” Kon urged.

He further highlighted the impact of the crisis on residents’ livelihoods.

“Most people have parked their vehicles because it’s hard to get fuel, and if you do, it’s too expensive to use regularly,” CEPO’s state coordinator stated.

Residents of Rumbek hope for a swift solution to alleviate the transportation challenges and economic strain caused by the fuel crisis as the government and fuel station owners are yet to reach an agreement.


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