Fuel scarcity hits fishing communities hard

Fisherman and Fishing boats on Lake Malawi in Salima

The ongoing fuel scarcity has dealt a severe blow to the fishing industry, leaving fishermen struggling to do their job and sustain their families.

Fishing is a primary source of livelihood for many communities along Lake Malawi, and the fuel shortage has caused widespread distress and uncertainty.

The fuel crisis also poses a threat to the nation’s food security as fishing heavily depends on gasoline-powered boats.

A fisherman Malawi24 spoke to said fishing has been disrupted by the crisis and they cannot afford to buy expensive fuel on alternative markets at over K5000 per litre for their operations.

“We are not able to carry out our duties because we don’t have petrol. Black Market fuel is too expensive,” Imran Luwis, a fisherman told Malawi24.

He added that they are ending up spending hours on queues at fuel service stations.

“The transport fare has been adjusted. We waste most of our time on the cues waiting for petrol at the filling station,” said Luwis.

Due to the crisis, police have also intensified enforcement of regulations that bans the buying of fuel in jerrycans.

Salima Police spokesperson Rebecca Ndiwate said they have confiscated containers and jerrycans at filling stations in recent days. This also affects boat operators who cannot take their boats to filling stations.

The fuel crisis which has hit the whole Malawi has been caused by a shortage of foreign exchange in Malawi as the country is failing to import enough fuel to meet demand.

Meanwhile, Government officials have said that the situation is expected to improve starting on Monday this week.

By Ben Bongololo, Salima