As the Senegal – Gambia border closure enters a fourth week, The Gambia is now officially running out of fuel especially heavy duty fuel to power its generators for electricity generation. Consequently, the country is plunged into heavy load shedding where some areas in the country including the capital are going without electricity for more than 15 hours.
Reports reaching The Fatu Network revealed that even some vital installations and institutions including military barracks are said to be all highly affected by what our source said to be a very serious electricity rationing in the country.
Speaking to different credible sources, The Fatu Network has been reliably made to understand that the situation of heavy fuel in the country is so critically low that unless urgent needed supplies arrive in the country by next week Wednesday 30th March, there is likelihood that NAWEC…the nation’s electricity provider, would completely run out of fuel.
Indeed The Gambia depends on different countries including Ivory Coast and Nigeria for its petroleum products including Jet fuel, heavy duty fuel and pump fuels for vehicular and domestic generators. These are normally imported by cargo vessels. The country normally falls on the supplies from Senegal when fuel stocks are critically low. The supplies from Senegal are normally transported by land loaded on fuel tanks.
But as it is thanks to the border closure, The Gambia is not able to replenish its critically low fuel stocks from Senegal. Currently The Fatu Network has got reliable information that Gambian fuel tanks are stranded at the border unable to enter Senegal.
Although it is still not clear whether a vessel loaded with fuel is on its way to Banjul, what is clear is that because of the serious economic problem The Gambia currently faces, it is believed that many of its creditors and suppliers in the international oil market are demanding that the country pays in advance before fuel products could be delivered.
The came about as a result of late payment some of these creditors have been experiencing with the Gambia. The situation partly explains why despite low oil prices around the world, fuel prices keep increasing in The Gambia to cover cost and recoup the much needed foreign currency to pay the suppliers.
Meanwhile, The Fatu Network has got credible information that the dictator has ordered the security forces to be on the highest alert because of fears of possible demonstration. One of our authoritative sources reading from a confidential memo sent to both Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, the government of The Gambia ordered that certain groups including opposition parties should be monitored for what the memo said was a credible information of an impending street demonstration meant to destabilise the country.
The government has also stepped-up security around the capital Banjul and other important public buildings and installations in addition to checkpoints mounted in many neighbourhoods in the Greater Banjul Area.
The Fatu Network is monitoring this developing story and will keep you posted as we get the latest.