Kenya's neighbours are not taking any chances with their fuel supply ahead of elections

Some while hoping for the best for Kenya are equally not taking chances and have prepared themselves for the worst.

Kenya is scheduled to hold its general election on August 8th and it seems government's effort to repeatedly assure Kenyans and business communities in general that all would be well and peaceful is not enough to convince them

Regional companies based around the country  and neighbouring countries  have also followed suit and made sure their stockpile of necessary daily commodities like petroleum products is adequate.

Last week, the Ugandan parliament questioned the country’s level of preparedness in case of disturbances in Kenya considering Uganda is a landlocked country and heavily depends on Kenya’s ports to ferry its goods.

Legislators were especially concerned about possible disruptions in the supply of petroleum products which Uganda imports through the Northern Corridor of Kenya.

During the 2007/08 post-election violence, Uganda faced a severe fuel shortage, with the prices of fuel increasing by about $2 in Kampala and by as much as $2.8 in other parts of the country.

Rwanda too which held its election on 4th August is also not taking chances having been once bitten.

In 2007/08, the country incurred massive losses when Kenya came to a standstill after violence broke out and since then has diversified its supply routes.

Currently, 80 per cent of Rwanda’s fuel supplies passes through the Central Corridor of Tanzania, cushioning its economy from supply shocks in case of violence in Kenya.

“We are at an advantage as we use both the Central and Northern corridors for our fuel imports,” said Robert Opirah, the director general for trade and investment at Rwanda’s Ministry of Trade.

More so, the country has enough strategic fuel reserves with a capacity to run the economy for three months.

Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) which is now struggling to regain its regional dominance which it lost to the Central Corridor after the bungled elections of 2007, has however allayed fears of any shortages.

According to the company, there is sufficient supply of fuel in Kenya to meet domestic and regional demand during the elections and the immediate post-election period.

“KPC is ready and able to take the country and the region through this period as far as access to petroleum products is concerned,” KPC managing director Joe Sang told a regional daily.

He added that the company has 257 million litres of products in stock in its various depots, which can last up to 12 days, and another 194 million litres in the high seas awaiting discharge.

An additional 761 million litres are expected to be delivered into the country this month.


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