Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lookin for Fuel

Malawi has had a fuel shortage for a few weeks now. We had one earlier in the year, but it was nothing like the present. It is only recently that the government has come out to say that it is being caused by a shortage of foreign currency. I don’t understand the economics of it enough to explain the problem or the solution. Put simply, I believe that we are importing more than exporting to the point that we can’t pay for basic needs like fuel. The government has made various statements including one encouraging Malawians to not import “luxury items,” such as cars, during this time as it worsens the problem.

The practical side of the fuel shortage is that basic services are now being affected. The public transportation system is struggling to find fuel. People needing to travel to work are walking instead of driving and transportation of goods from one area to another is happening less. Today, lines of vehicles up to twenty cars long were lined up at all the fuel stations I passed with hope of a delivery arriving. No solid information, just rumors.


  1. I wonder how this affecting the ability to deliver food and stuff to remote villages? Is HOPE for AIDS having to suspend travel to places during this time?

  2. The fuel shortage has affected everyone. It is worse in Lilongwe than here. ABC Academy has suspended classes some days because parents don't have fuel to take kids to school. Some have been sleeping at stations with hope of fuel arriving. So far, we have managed to find enough fuel to keep Hope for AIDS trips going, but lot of other people have suspended trips. Transporters are sitting still. The Nsanje port and road construction has halted as well. This is the worse week so far.