Fuel stations in border cities are recording big losses as motorists flock to neighboring nations for cheaper gas, simply days after the vitality regulator raised costs to historic highs.
The Vitality and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) final week raised the worth of gasoline by Sh7.10, diesel by Sh9.90 and kerosene by Sh11.36, with the merchandise now promoting retail for Sh134.72, Sh115.60 and Sh110.82. per liter respectively in Nairobi.
The brand new costs have doomed gasoline station operators in cities close to Kenya’s borders with Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia as motorists cross to purchase cheaper gas in these nations.
Kenyan operators are actually contemplating shedding some staff to remain afloat.
“We could have no alternative however to put off a number of the employees as industrial dives, most of our clients going to Uganda to purchase gas,” stated Derrick Juma, an oil dealer on the border between Kenya and Uganda.
Lwakhakha, Malaba and Busia gasoline stations are amongst these frequented by Kenyan motorists.
Kenyan gas retailers, which promote gasoline at 140 shillings per liter, are reeling from enterprise losses as industrial autos, and taxi and bodaboda drivers crowd into stations in Uganda, the place they purchase gasoline for 110 shillings.
“We’ve seen a rise within the variety of Kenyan motorists refueling their autos at our gasoline stations since gas costs had been revised of their nation, and this has boosted our gross sales and basic enterprise,” he stated. stated David Juma, gasoline station attendant in Malaba, Uganda. .
“What’s the logic of shopping for gas from Kenyan gasoline stations at exorbitant costs after we can get the products in Uganda at cheaper costs? Requested Peter Apolo, a Matatu driver in Malaba.
Mr Apolo stated the autumn in costs in Uganda implies that they won’t enhance the tariffs and they’ll keep afloat.
In Moyale, motorists cross the border to purchase cheaper gas in Ethiopia, the place costs are nearly half that in Kenya.
A liter of gasoline within the border city has fallen from 134.9 shillings to 142.5 shillings, whereas diesel sells for 123.4 shillings, in comparison with 115.5 shillings. In Ethiopia a liter of gasoline sells for 75 shillings, whereas diesel sells for 50 shillings
Kenya’s Nationwide Chamber of Commerce and Business Moyale department chairman Ahmed Ali stated many gasoline stations within the metropolis are actually dealing with imminent collapse.
“We’re solely at first of the sluggish demise of gasoline stations in Moyale as motorists cross the border to Ethiopia to refuel their autos, as gas costs in Kenya are twice as excessive as within the neighboring nation, “Ali advised the Nation yesterday by phone.
Greater than 10 gasoline stations within the metropolis, he stated, are vulnerable to collapse if gas costs stay excessive.
Companies within the city of Marsabit have additionally decried the excessive gas prices, with taxi and bodaboda operators citing misplaced income as they’ve needed to increase fares and lose clients because of this.
Every day revenue decreases
Omar Yayo, a taxi driver, stated their day by day revenue has dropped considerably.
In the meantime, compelled motorists and bodaboda operators on the closed Taveta-Holili border crossing, who would cross into Tanzania for cheaper gas, are resigned to the brand new gas costs.
The federal government closed the crossing final 12 months to mitigate the unfold of Covid-19.
However bodaboda operators are actually urging the federal government to reopen the border submit to allow them to cross to Tanzania, the place a liter of gasoline prices 120 shillings, in comparison with 135 shillings in Taveta.
“I want the federal government might open the border in order that we will cross to Holili to refuel, as a result of gasoline is cheaper there than in Kenya,” Danson Moi stated.
Life had change into troublesome with larger gas prices, he stated, urging the federal government to evaluate costs.
Different drivers, reminiscent of truckers carrying items from Mombasa to Uganda and Tanzania, say refueling their autos exterior Kenya will considerably cut back their gas prices.
“In different nations like Tanzania or Uganda you get locations the place you are able to do gas with about Sh8 cheaper than in Kenya. I’ve 5 vans and I want to refuel in these nations than right here, “stated Mombasa transporter Mohammed Mahamud.
“I even have a challenge in Ramisi, Kwale, and I might often sneak into Tanzania to refuel, however motion restrictions on the borders are a hindrance.”
Price of products
Kenya Transporters Affiliation chief govt Dennis Ombok stated rising gas costs would enhance the price of items.
“We’ve been conscious of shoppers in asking the federal government to evaluate the 2013 Worth Added Tax Legislation to take away VAT on gas, however the authorities has remained adamant,” he stated.
“We’ve not elevated transportation prices for a few years regardless of the rise in gas costs by the federal government. This month, we have now no alternative however to make this painful resolution, the consequences of which will probably be felt by shoppers. “
In western Kenya, gasoline stations in Migori and Busia counties have reported an enormous drop in gross sales as motorists cross the border to Tanzania and Uganda for cheaper gas, days after the surge gas costs.
Bernard Gicheha, who operates a Shell gasoline station in Malaba, stated he sells 7,000 liters of diesel a day, however gross sales have fallen to 2,000 liters.
“We’re feeling the pinch. Issues will not be wanting good and we’re struggling to maintain operations going,” he stated.
“A distinction of Sh20 in the price of gas is massive and persons are making an attempt to economize crossing the border to purchase cheaper gas.”
A spot test on the Busia and Malaba border crossings confirmed that motorists had been touring to neighboring Uganda to buy gas.
In Migori, a number of gasoline stations are struggling to take care of operations as a consequence of weak gross sales reported up to now week.
Norma Achieng, a gasoline station attendant, expressed fears that jobs could be misplaced after the drastic drop in enterprise.
“The enterprise has gone down. Our clients are not refueling right here, apart from a small variety of motorcyclists,” she stated.
“We danger shedding our jobs if the state of affairs persists and the station closes. The federal government should step in and modify costs earlier than issues get out of hand.”
Porous Tanzanian border
Stung by excessive costs, motorists from as distant as Kisii, Homa Bay and Migori counties are crossing Tanzania’s porous border to purchase cheaper gas after the worth of a liter of gasoline rose 7.58 shillings.
Within the city of Migori, a liter of gasoline sells for 137.30 shillings, towards 128.30 shillings, whereas diesel has fallen from 110.20 shillings to 117 shillings.
Throughout the Tanzanian border, gasoline sells for between 95 and 97 shillings per liter. Diesel prices 91.15 Sh whereas kerosene prices 88.35 Sh.
“If the federal government doesn’t reply to calls to regulate gas costs, we are going to proceed to purchase our gas from Tanzania,” stated Richard Chacha, a resident of Migori city.
Isebania is now a hive of exercise as motorists journey freely to Sirare in Tanzania with 20-liter containers to purchase gas, which they then resell to Migori.
Reporting by Brian Ojamaa, Barnabas Bii, Jacob Walter, Benson Amadala, Ian Byron and Lucy Mkanyika