By Anthony Wesaka, Saturday Monitor (September 17, 2011)
Uganda’s ever increasing power outages and the recent shoot in the prices of charcoal has exerted pressure on cooking gas thus creating an artificial shortage in the market.
A mini survey conducted by Saturday Monitor, around Kampala indicated that most shell outlets, one of the biggest dealer in cooking gas had run out of the commodity.
Mr Ronald Lwanga, the manager of the Bugolobi service bay and gas station, told Saturday Monitor “Yes there is a shortage of cooking gas caused by increased demand and reduction in supply.”
He said although the station was supplied with cooking gas last week, the commodity had already run out, which suggest that more people are resorting to using gas.
Ugandans have adapted the use of gas as an alternative as opposed to charcoal and electricity whose price have sky rocketed and the continued load shedding respectively.
To back up this, Mr Lwanga, told Saturday Monitor that the station’s sales had increased by about 20 per cent in August.
The station used to sell about 20 gas cylinders every month, however, in August sales increased to about 45 cylinders.
When contacted about the matter, Mr Ivan Kyayonka, the Shell Uganda country director confirmed the shortage but attributed it to a delayed delivery at the Mombasa Port.
He said: “Yes there is a supply shortage resulting from congestion at the Mombasa Port.”
Other players including; Total Uganda also reported shortages but promised that supply would soon stabilise.
Mr Mamadou Ngom, the Total Uganda managing director said: “Our customers should stay calm as we expect supply to arrive anytime from today (Thursday). We have two trucks coming in with supplies.”
However, when contacted, Mr Peter Ochieng, the Kobil Uganda managing director, told Saturday Monitor that Kobil had not experienced any shortages as it had enough gas both at its stations and depots to service its customers.