Sudan fuel crisis: Farms withering in South Kordofan
Abu Jubeiha / Kadugli / Khartoum
April 2, 2018 (Radio Dabanga)
Owners of orchards and vegetable farms in South Kordofan complain about the loss of their crops and fruit trees because of the scarcity of fuel needed for their water pumps. The fuel crisis is crippling life in the South Kordofan capital of Kadugli as well. Sudanese officials claim enough fuel is distributed in the country.
"Because of the ongoing diesel crisis our vegetables and fruit trees are now dying," a farmer told Radio Dabanga from Abu Jubeiha.
"The price of a gallon of diesel has risen to SDG 140 ($ 7.70*) on the black market, so many of us cannot afford to buy enough fuel for our water pumps."
He said that most of the people in Abu Jubeiha are suffering from the shortage of fuel and the ensuing soaring prices. "We pay here SDG 300 ($ 16.50) for a cylinder of cooking gas. The price for a kilogram of sugar jumped to SDG 30."
He added that the transport tariffs have increased as well. "The price of a bus ticket from Abu Jubeiha to Um Rawaba for instance now rose from SDG 110 to to SDG 170. The same happened with prices of tickets between the various towns in the North Kordofan."
Farmers in El Gedaref and White Nile states expect the coming agricultural season to fail as well because of the continuing fuel crisis.
Observers told this station on Friday that Khartoum is planning to "silently implement another fuel prices increase". They pointed to the government's decision to increase the customs rate of the US Dollar from SDG 6.7 to SDG 18 in early January. The prices of basic commodities doubled, and in a number of cases tripled immediately.
Power outages resulting from the scarcity of fuel are paralysing life in Kadugli.
"Iron workshops, offices of lawyers, grocery stores, in addition to all government offices in the city have closed their doors because of the ongoing power cuts for three weeks," an employee told this station.
"Only the houses of the state governor and the ministers receive enough fuel to generate electricity," he said.
He added that the traffic in the South Kordofan capital "has almost come to a halt".
'More than enough'
According to the Bakheet Ahmed Abdallah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas, his ministry is daily distributing more than enough fuel among the petrol stations in the country.
In a press statement on Sunday, he called on the fuel distribution companies to instruct the petrol stations not to tamper with the daily quotas.
He also said that large quantities of cooking gas are being distributed to the bakeries in the country.
The undersecretary further announced the arrival of a number of ships loaded with fuel to Port Sudan.
* Based on the official US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)
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