Poor internet connectivity causes fuel scarcity in Burundi


Lack of internet has recently affected businesses in Burundi. Long car and motorcycle queues in fuel stations have become the norm rather than an exception in the Burundian capital Bujumbura. It was reported that fuel scarcity in the country has affected the citizens in carrying out their duties.

The people are suffering from fuel scarcity. This has indirectly and directly affected business transactions. In other words, vehicle owners now rely only on few petrol stations resulting to endless queues for fuel. Most people could not understand the cause of the fuel scarcity. All they could feel is the frustration from the situation.

A vehicle owner lamented:
“We waste a lot of time. At the moment, they say that prices have increased but the fuel is available.This makes it possible for us to buy few liters and continue our activities without queuing for long hours.”

The fuel shortage has negatively affected the people as movement to execute business plans has been slowed down. This situation has made taking public transport and even private difficult in the country, placing the population in a confused state.

“We do not know what to do. There is total disorder. Let them do all they can to ensure that fuel is available,” a passenger explained.

In response to the situation, Burundian government officials said the fuel scarcity has been caused by internet network failure.

“This fuel shortage has continued due to internet connectivity problems. The connectivity issues made the registration of trucks at the border cumbersome. The technical failure is also having a negative impact on the customs department,” Daniel Mitabakana, director of fuel management at the department of energy and mines stated.

Another car owner explained:

“We are already getting frustrated. We now get late to work. The government should please do something about the situation. It’s getting out of control.”

However, some sources say the fuel shortage is as a result of lack of foreign currency in Burundi as international organisations have stopped assisting the country financially. Some also believed that it was a way to express discontent with the ongoing political crisis.

The recent political crisis has reopened the wounds of Burundi’s past. Hardliners now dominant in the government brutally stifle dissent, fuel ethnic hatred, and undermine the Arusha accord that framed Burundi’s peace for the past decade. This is not the time for the international organisation to pull out. This is the time for them to push toward real dialogue, and prepare to intervene in settling Burundi’s political crisis.

In order to clarify the cause of the fuel scarcity, Burundi’s government officials have reconfirmed that the slow down in internet access is the major reason for the ongoing fuel scarcity in the country. It was stated that any other reason aside this should be disregarded.

At this juncture, one cannot under estimate the power of internet. The government of Burundi has promised to fix the internet problem in no time. It also assure that things will be back to normal and urged the citizens to be a little more patient.

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