Written by Ivy Tunkete Mwanyongo:
Amidst a nationwide fuel shortage, fishermen in Nkhotakota district are grappling with the impact on their business.
In a random interview with some fishermen, it was revealed that some have been unable to go fishing for a week, as the boats demand nearly 40 liters of petrol to operate.
Mwamadi Malithano, one of the fishermen whom we find at Bondo fishing dock, of Kombo village in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Malengachanzi narrated the difficulties they face in purchasing fuel at fueling stations. Currently, they are resorting to buying fuel on the black market at K4, 000 per liter.
Malithano stressed that the government needs to promptly address the challenge, highlighting various problems arising from the fuel shortage.
Another Fisherman, Benjamin Munthali from Karonga district operating in Nkhotakota, claimed the crisis forces them to give money to fuel attendants for priority.
“For almost a week, my boat has failed to operate due to changes in fuel prices on the black market, affecting our profits from fish catches”, lamented Munthali.
He added, “I can assure you that no fisherman is buying petrol at a fueling station without using illegal means because attendants prioritize vehicle owners over us.”
Siwedi Kawalika from Makuta village in the area of Traditional Authority Malengachanzi challenges the government to intervene, emphasizing how the crisis impacts the country’s overall operations.
In a press briefing Friday, the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) however, disclosed that the prevailing forex challenges has been disrupting the flow of fuel supplies and that petrol will be available starting next Monday.