Congo-Brazzaville: Butane Gas Shortage Sparks Public Outrage

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Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, has been facing a significant shortage of butane gas for multiple weeks, leading to frustration among consumers, including households. As a result, people are often compelled to travel long distances in their search for this vital product. The lack of availability is primarily attributed to problems within the supply chain.

Numerous butane gas distribution points in the capital have been shuttered. Consumers are going to great lengths to obtain their gas cylinders, whether by carrying them on their backs, in wheelbarrows, on motorcycles, or even in taxis. The only place where they can secure a refill is the depot of the distribution company known as Faaki. However, even reaching this depot can be a daunting task, as explained by Juste, a 25-year-old resident.

“I’ve been here since morning. It’s now 4 p.m., and I’ve just managed to find gas [a 12-kilogram cylinder]. It’s really a struggle,” he laments.

To cope with this shortage, we resort to firewood and charcoal for cooking. However, even the price of charcoal has surged. Juste points out, “Even the price of charcoal has gone up. A bag that used to cost 5,000 CFA francs is now selling for 6,500 to 7,000 CFA francs.”

Frustration and anger are palpable among the population. “It’s disheartening. It’s hard to believe that in an oil-producing country, people are living in such dire conditions. How long will this go on? We’ve had no gas for a month. It’s very distressing,” they lament.

According to a source within the Ministry of Hydrocarbons, the shortage is attributed to maintenance issues at the Nkossa field, the primary source of supply. This has forced the country to rely on imports to meet the demand.

Soukaina Sghir

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