By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli 19 July 2014:
The cost of almost everything has increased in Tripoli as the closure . . .[restrict]of roads and the scarcity of fuel brings the transportation of goods to a grinding halt.
The price of a litre of petrol, when it can be found, has risen to LD 1 from LD 0.15/litre. Bottle gas for cooking, which has been in particularly high demand over Ramadan, has risen to LD 40 a cylinder.
Imported goods from Egypt and Tunisia, notably vegetables and fruit, were the first to be affected. The movement of produce from Egypt had already been hit by a series of kidnapping incidents near Ajdabiya.
What little is brought in by sea is left either at port or in warehouses as it cannot be moved. Similarly perishable goods in warehouses near the airport road or in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura cannot be transported because of the petrol shortages. The problem is exacerbated by the on-and-off closures of the airport and costal roads because of clashes. The latter has also affected the arrival of goods in the capital from Misrata and Zawia to the east and west.
As the situation worsens, fewer and fewer state employees have been able to go to work because they have been running out of fuel.
There are fears that the situation will deteriorate further.
Brega Petroleum Marketing Company, the National Oil Corporation and Tripoli Local Council have held meetings to try and address the crisis but are yet to find a way to protect petrol stations as their owners fear chaos if they are reopened.