Gas crisis continues in Egypt

It’s no surprise to see long lines formed outside gas stations across rural Egypt.

Men and women in the coastal town of Suez queued separately recently to collect their household gas cylinders which they use for cooking, unlike upper and middle class Egyptians who receive a steady gas flow into their homes, immunizing them from the ongoing crisis since February.

Residents like Mahmoud Abdel Fatah are unsure of what to pinpoint the cause of the fuel crisis, ranging from the poor performance of the parliament, to the loose ends yet to be tied after the ousting of president Hosni Mubarak and his regime.

Regardless of the cause, the patience of many is wearing thin and residents are wondering what is to become of the crisis. Souad Ahmed says her family are running short of basic items like bread, in addition to fuel.

Officials, however, have placed blame on the black market and distribution methods. The current military government which subsidizes fuel created a coupon system that entitles a family of three people to receive one cylinder per month, while a family of four or more receives two cylinders per month.

Last month, Petroleum Minister Abdullah Ghorab said the ineffective system had caused the crisis.

Egypt imports nearly fifty percent of its household gas from Libya and Saudi Arabia. The General Petroleum Authority is providing licensed depots with 100,000 cylinders on a daily basis to cater to consumers.

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