29 June 2016, Mogadishu — Drivers in the morning rush hour in Mogadishu jostle for space to fill their tanks in one of the newly opened petrol stations in the city. An attendant shouts at the drivers, directing them: “Come forward a bit, a bit more. Stop.” These scenes are new to the city and its residents.
The filling station is in the K4 area in the heart of the city and it has witnessed a big increase in the number of vehicles passing through its gates since it reduced its prices.
Drivers for a long time complained of high prices at the pumps and avoided filling up as much as possible. Now they have received a respite.
Prices have dropped in line with the slump in the price of oil in the global market. Since December, consumers say, the price for a litre of petrol in the Somali capital has dropped by at least 30 percent.
“The price has changed. I used to pay $5 for five litres but now I pay $3.50. That is very good news for us drivers as it means we save money that we can use for other things. I hope the price of oil continues to fall,” Zakariye Abdiqadir, a driver at Somoil station told Al Jazeera, as he waited for his turn to fill up.
“I never used to fill my tank because it was very expensive. Now coming here is not too bad on our wallets,” Abdiqadir added.
At least half a dozen petrol stations have opened in the city, which is recovering from more than two decades of civil war, that ended three years ago.
- Al Jazeera