Critical fuel shortage hits N W Province

A critical fuel shortage has hit North Western Province again with Solwezi, Kasempa, Munyumbwe and Zambezi District being the worst affected areas.

An on the spot check by the Daily Nation yesterday revealed that most filling stations in the area were dry as they did not have both diesel and petrol .

But when contacted for a comment Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Water Development George Zulu said that Zambia had enough fuel and that it was strange that some parts of the country were reportedly experiencing fuel  hortages.

“I have not been informed about the shortage of fuel in Solwezi and other surrounding areas but what I can say is that the country has enough fuel to last for some months. It is strange that some areas are reportedly experiencing shortages. This government is trying by all mean to ensure that the country maintains sufficient fuel stocks,” he said

Vehicles in Solwezi started making long queues as early as 05:00 at Mount Meru Filling station while Total, Puma and SG filling stations were still waiting for new consignments which was expected late  in the afternoon.

“This problem of fuel shortage is extremely serious here and as you can see there is only one filling station which has the commodity at the moment and if it continues like this all economic activities in this area will be grounded. We cannot transport goods and services to other parts of the province because of the situation,” said Allan Mulenga a transporter in the Solwezi.

The transporters also said that districts such as Kabompo, Mwinilunga and Chavuma were badly affected as they did not have filling stations.

And fuel attendants spoken to said that the shortage was as a result of delay in transportation of the commodity to the area.

They fuel attendants who shared the same view said that the companies had enough fuel stocks in their reserve tanks.

And North Western Province Permanent Secretary Augustine Seyuba said that his office would investigate the fuel shortages before making a thorough report on the matter.