Shingal hit by fuel shortages

Kirkuk- A motorist fuels up at one of the city’s gas stations, June 2019  Photo: Soran Muhammad.

 Ammar Aziz- Shingal

Fuel crisis has enveloped the predominantly Ezidi town of Shingal (Sinjar), west of Ninewa province as the district’s government-run gas stations are running empty.

The crisis started in early July due to a delay in the arrival of the district’s share of fuel which is sent by the local administration to state-run stations.

Drivers are compelled to spend hours queuing at petrol stations, or buy it with nearly twice the price at private stations.

“I have to spend four to five hours in long ques in order to fuel up.. What the Ninewa administration does is not fair. There is no fuel crisis in any part of Iraq except Shingal,” said Barakat Saeed, a resident of Shingal’s Sinune sub-district.

Shingal was overrun by the Islamic State (IS) group which committed numerous atrocities against the Ezidi population of the town. The majority of the residents who fled Shingal have remained in displacement due to lack of essential services.

The majority of the people cannot afford to buy fuel from private gas stations

Barakat Saeed believes the shortages are “created intentionally to force the people to fuel up at private gas stations.”

The price of gas at state-run stations is 430 dinars for each liter, while it is sold at 750 dinars in the private stations.

“The majority of the people here cannot afford to buy fuel from private gas stations… This is not the first time this crisis appears. We witness such crises every few months,” said Barakat.

There are only two state-run gas stations in Shingal, while more than 20 private ones exist which according to people are owned by Ninewa administration officials.

Khodeda Choki, Sinune sub-district commissioner told KirkukNow that the fuel shortages are “blamed on the Ninewa administration which delays the supply of fuel a few days at the end of each month causing state-run stations to run empty.”

According to Barakat Saeed, the issue can be resolved by increasing the share of the district and also increasing the number of state-run gas stations in the area.


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