December 8, 2015 By Memunatu Bangura from Moyamba
District Medical Officer at Moyamba government hospital, Dr. James Jengopi, has revealed that fuel scarcity in the district has put operations on hold at the hospital.
In an exclusive interview with Concord Times, Dr. Jengopi said the biggest referral hospital in the district had gone without electricity for the past two months, thus affecting normal operations.
He explained that their only option was to go to Moyamba Junction or Mile 91 to purchase fuel for their generators, adding that the situation was life threatening as it causes delay for patients who need urgent operation.
Dr. Jengopi said fuel is sometimes sold per liter by black-marketers at an exorbitant price to the management of the hospital.
“The generators are not fueled unless we go to mile 91 or Moyamba junction to get fuel at a higher price,” he said.
Moyamba District Council Chairman Professor Bob Kandeh said for over two months the only fuel station in the district was closed by the owner without giving any reasons.
He explained that as far as he was aware the council and ministries, departments and agencies in the district do not owe the fuel station any unpaid fees.
Prof. Kandeh said that council as a result utilises a whooping Le500 million on fuel as they are the highest consumers of fuel in the district.
The district council chairman further explained that they had been in negotiation with the owner of the fuel station to resume operation without a breakthrough, adding that the lack of a fuel station in the district poses a security concern which according to him had been discussed by the district security management team.
Prof. Kandeh said council had engaged major fuel dealers like NP and Safecon, written several letters and held meetings with them in a bid to remedy the situation, but to no avail.
According to one commercial bike rider, Issa Sam, the shortage of fuel has affected them adversely, adding that they ride for over twenty miles to Mile 91 or Moyamba Junction to buy fuel at Le.5,000 per litre.
Former executive member in the local drivers union, James Tucker, said the shortage of fuel adversely affects drivers and passengers plying routes within the district.
He said because black marketers are selling at higher prices transport fare has also been increased, thus having serious economic impact on passengers.