Petrol shortages expose Burundi's economic woes

Long queues have been quickly forming in the capital Bujumbura where petrol is only available at some of the fuel stations some of the time.

Petrol shortages expose Burundi's economic woes

World Bulletin / News Desk

A lack of foreign currency means petrol pumps are running dry across Burundi, the government has admitted, as the country struggles with a serious two-year-old political crisis.

"It's been a disaster for the last week because we only find one or two stations stocked every other day across the whole capital," said Hassan, a 35-year-old taxi driver reached by telephone.

He said that when a fuel truck delivers, the news spreads like wildfire among desperate motorists, and "hundreds of cars and buses rush over to it, and in a few hours there is not a drop left."

The shortage has triggered a sharp rise in the price of black market petrol which now sells for 7,000 Burundi francs ($4 or 3.70 euros) per litre, more than three times the official rate.

The price of taxi rides has increased and many drivers have chosen to leave vehicles at home and travel on foot, leaving the capital strangely quiet.

But the situation is worse still outside Bujumbura.

In the second city of Gitega residents said there has been almost no petrol for the last month.

"Sometimes one of the 10 stations in the city receives a few thousand litres, but they are gone in a few hours," said one resident who did not want to be named saying anything the government might dislike.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Mayıs 2017, 17:40