By Milo Milfort
Port-au-Prince, Oct 4 (EFE).- Junior Pierre drives his motorcycle taxi in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince trying to make ends meet in the country that has been crippled by fuel shortages, armed gang violence and cholera outbreak for months.
Pierre had to buy a gallon of gasoline 3,500 Haitian gourdes (around $28) when he ran out of fuel in a dangerous area, leaving him with no choice but to raise his fares.
“I have a wife and children. I have to put food on the table,” the driver tells Efe.
NO TRACE OF FUEL
The fuel shortage in Haiti has impacted all sectors. Several hospitals, shopping centers and service companies announced they would be shutting down but promised to go back to business as usual when the issue is resolved.
Although Haiti’s prime minister Ariel Henry said about two weeks ago that fuel would be available at local pumps, scarcity still persists.
Henry indicated that the prices of petroleum products would rise, but not as much as what is currently paid in the black market.
Anti-government protests intensified following the premier’s announcement and even escalated to fires, looting and systematic blockade of various regions in the country.
Haitians believe their government is incapable of resolving the crisis gripping the country for years, exacerbated by the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in 2021.
The fuel Henry promised exists but has been blocked for weeks at the main entrance of the oil terminal by G9 gang alliance leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier.
Varreux Oil Terminal wrote on Twitter last month that state stocks, as of September, were 5,978,574 gallons of gasoline, 4,983,426 of diesel and 816,228 of kerosene, but they cannot be unloaded due to the blockade.
LACK OF DRINKING WATER DESPITE CHOLERA
In addition to the rising black market fuel prices, cholera has resurfaced in Haiti.
The infection broke out in Haiti shortly after the 2010 earthquake and was brought under control in 2019. It left at least 7,000 people dead and 520,000 infected then.
Since Sunday, the Caribbean Bottling Company (CBC) has not been able to produce or distribute Culligan water in Port-au-Prince due to “the depletion of its diesel supplies.”EFE