PORT-AU-PRINCE — The National Association of Service Station Owners has received thousands of gallons of gasoline for Haiti, but the shipment cannot fully remedy the persistent shortage at local pumps, the association’s director said.
Director Marc André Deriphonse said, “We will be facing this situation constantly. The country buys fuel at a high price [only] to sell it at low cost. Shipments coming here are more and more useless.”
With summer approaching, worldwide gas hikes are already affecting travel to the country. There was a gas shortage in November 2021, which caused American Airlines to reduce flights to Haiti.
Industry experts predict that providing enough gas for internal travel in Haiti will be a challenge even harder.
According to Deriphonse, “Today, we have the capacity to order 10,000 gallons. Tomorrow, we’ll order 7,000. Orders are significantly reduced and there will come a time we will no longer be able to order. It will be a total collapse if this problem isn’t solved.”
During the past few years, Haiti has faced persistent gas shortages due to credit restrictions that prevented the government from paying for fuel shipments.
The constant gas shortage disproportionately affects public transportation drivers. As a result, they have been demanding that the government end the fuel shortage.
Taxi-moto driver Jean-Baptiste said, “We have been facing this problem for a while, gas shortage happens all the time…If BMPAD’s director doesn’t manage to solve this as soon as possible, he will hear from us.”
His reference was to the government agency that oversees development funding, the Office of Monetization of Development Assistance Programs.
As well as Petit-Homme, another taxi-moto driver expressed his frustrations. The taxi driver has no other way to provide for his family.
“I am in a contract with the owner of the motorcycle I drive,” Petit-Homme, a father of three, said. “We must be able to eat, my children and I. The gas shortage, and to add to it the insecurity crisis, is strangling us.”