Border mining areas affected by fuel shortage in Venezuela

The Eteringbang area, near Venezuela

The situation appears to be occurring in the Cuyuni, Region Seven, nearer to the Venezuela border, and in areas of Region One.

The situation would be blamed mainly on the problems of supply in Venezuela, from where dealers have been buying.   

Venezuela itself is facing shortages at its pump stations with dropping production levels affecting supplies to Guyana.

Over the years, the supply from Venezuela has especially been helpful in sustaining mining and other activities in the hinterlands. With that gone now or reduced significantly, the livelihoods of many are under threat, miners complained yesterday.

Region 1 chairman, Brentnol Ashley

Region One chairman, Brentnol Ashley, in a Facebook plea, disclosed that the gas shortage has developed into a crisis.

He said that residents are paying between G$8,000 and G$10,000 for a five-gallon container in Mabaruma and Moruca, and $12,000 to G$15,000 in Matarkai.

“…This current situation has caused the transportation fares to hike significantly placing additional burdens on citizens and causing more decay into an already stagnant regional economy…”

According to Ashley, he is imploring Government for an intervention geared at providing an urgent solution.

He said that taxis have raised fares and school children are paying much more.
He noted that fuel dealers and retailers are paying between G$60,000 and G$80,000 for a drum of gasoline.

In fact, he said, the regional administration has started to reduce its service because of the fuel shortage.

Among other things, the chairman called for an immediate relaxation on the G$5,000 tax on every barrel of fuel by the Guyana Revenue Authority.

He called on the Guyana Energy Authority to closely monitor the ships that are coming to the Waini area, Region One, and purchase unmarked fuel, taking it even to Suriname, thereby disrupting the supplies.

Ashley said that the Guyana Oil Company should consider sending supplies to the area. GUYOIL should seek to provide an urgent supply to the Region since there is a very limited supply left, he added.

While that is happening in Region One, there is another similar situation brewing in the Eteringbang area, which borders Venezuela.

A brisk fuel trade had developed over the years in the area, leading to the establishment of an army post.

Miners especially in the gold-rich Cuyuni have been depending on Venezuela for supplies.
However, scores of miners would now be under threat from the situation.

In fact, one miner said, he is forced to pay up to US$240 (almost $49,000) per barrel of fuel when in normal times he would have paid US$120 ($24,000).

There are thousands of hinterland residents and scores of miners.
Also affected, Kaieteur News was told, would be loggers.

 

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