Savu & Rai Jua News - Sept '04

Fuel shortage pushes prices up

Kerosene has been in short supply on Savu for some months, pushing the price to Rp.2000/bottle, 2½ times the usual price of Rp.800/bottle. Kupang Regional Assembly Member, Mr Lay Jeferson, called on the Government to resolve the crisis, by making an urgent delivery of fuel to Savu. However, the head of the Kupang Regency Office, Drs. Ibrahim Medah, was not available for comment when Pos Kupang called his office for a response. "His excellency is busy and cannot be disturbed yet." his secretary declared. Drs. Medah later informed Pos Kupang that he had met with the distributor, the agent and the shipping company to discuss the problem, which has also seen the price of petrol increase from Rp.2000/litre to Rp.6000/litre.

It turns out that the fuel shortage is due to a logistical problem concerning its delivery. Apparently, it is not profitable for the shipping company, Kupang Maritime Regional Company, to transport small quantities of fuel to Savu. So, the distributor, Toko Piet Kupang, has agreed to provide two tanks for kerosene, while the agent will provide one.

Kerocene is widely used for lighting on Savu, so the people have been forced to improvise. For example, coconut oil is used instead of candles, which are still considered a luxury. The coconut oil is typically placed in a baby clam shell with a wad of raw cotton for a wick.

Copyright © 2007 Ina Tali/Francesca Von Reinhaart.


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