Before president Uhuru Kenyatta signed the bill to settle arrears with oil marketers in a move to normalize fuel supply and prices in the country, the shortage has already rattled part of the economy, pushing a threat to the boda boda sector.
Across Western Kenya towns such Kakamega and Bungoma, it is a tale of empty tanks. Boda boda operators have had their operations paralyzed since Saturday 1 April owing to empty gas stations.
Long queues were witnessed at the gas stations for long hours. Unfortunately, even after the long wait, some operators were forced to walk away without petrol.
As a result, the few who are lucky to have some fuel have been forced to hike fares in order to compensate for their losses.
“We are now charging between sh 100 to 150 for the places we usually charge sh 50. For now, we also cannot go long distances because we may run out of fuel,” says Mr. Namilenga, a boda boda operator at Kakamega town.
The ongoing fuel shortage is a bitter pill for the boda boda operators, as most of them are possessed in loan agreements. Most operators have to pay for the loans on a daily basis. However as most of these have been forced to shelf their operations, it could prove a painful pinch into their livelihoods.
The operators are crying to the government to take swift action so that they can be able to take care of their families.
“Our lives are already so hard. We struggle to get a daily wage. This is like a death wish. We are asking the government to take quick action to restore the fuel so that we can be able to pay our loans and feed our families,” Mr. Namilenga lamented.
The boda boda sector employs over 1 million Kenyans as well as being a key sector in the Kenyan economy.
- Please take a moment to give feedback about this article: