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‘North fuel blues limiting growth’

THE continued erratic supply of fuel to Northern Province has been cited by local authorities as a major hindrance to development.
Kasama district commissioner Kalunga Bwalya said the province has for a long time now continued to experience fuel shortages.
He said the few fuel filling stations in the province had failed to meet the increasing demand for energy.
“These shortages haven’t helped the business community in this province.  Storage facilities is a major challenge and so we are appealing to oil marketing companies to come to Northern Province and set up fuel facilities to help address the problem,” he said.
Mr Bwalya said motorists spend hours in long queues, especially in Kasama, to buy the commodity.
He assured businesses keen to invest in the fuel sector in the province to come through as land will be provided in any district of their choice.
By press time last week, the entire Kasama, which has only three filling stations, had besieged Total to buy fuel because the other filling stations had run out of the commodity.
Total supervisor Abu Siyanga said the province has always faced fuel shortages due to inadequate petroleum storage facilities.
He said the number of motor vehicles has increased drastically while fuel supply has remained static.
“It is a surmountable challenge that Government, calls for intervention to correct,” he said.
Mporokoso district commissioner Jennifer Chongo described the fuel situation in the district as critical.
“We need adequate supply of fuel to the province. There is need for investors to take advantage of this business opportunity to fill the gap which has been open for a long time now,” she said.
She said Mporokoso has been seriously hit as there is no filling station, forcing residents to drive to Kasama to access the commodity.
Ms Chongo said the council was willing to allocate land for filling stations to investors willing to set up businesses in Mporokoso.

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