Women in Otuke district would rather deliver their children at a health facility but the high fuel prices won’t let them travel.
Now the only option left are home deliveries after a liter of petrol in Otuke bow costs Shillings 8,000 from Shillings 4,500 early this year while a liter of diesel costs Shillings 6,700 from 3,500.
This has prompted several people to pack their motorcycles and vehicles. On Saturday a warm Saturday morning, Susan Auma, 23, gave birth to her first child at home after failing to get to Orum HC IV in Otuke Town Council due to the lack of transport means. The health facility is 7kms away from her village.
Auma’s labour started in the evening but she could not get to the health facility because all the motorcycle riders in her neighborhood had run out of fuel. She gave birth to a baby boy with the help of her husband and sister in law.
She says although her husband had saved enough money to transport her to the health center, the money became useless because the available motorcycles had no fuel.
This is the fate of most pregnant mothers in Otuke district where Boda- bodas riders have parked their motorcycles as a result of the high fuel price. Another mother gave birth on the road as she tried to walk to Aliwang HCIII in Orum sub county while her husband roamed around looking for fuel.
Sarah Acio, who was also in labor decided to walk with the hope that her husband would find her on the way but ended up giving birth with the help of elderly women going to the market. Tony Blair Oluge, a fuel vendor in Ogwete sub-county, says that he stopped selling petrol when the price shot up and pump attendants from Lira City started cheating him by pumping less fuel than what he paid for.
Nelson Obira and Steven Ocheng, both Boda boda riders in Ogwete sub county Otuke district decided to park their motorcycles due to the high price. Obira says although his family survives on the motorcycle, he will only return to the road when the fuel price reduces.
Early this week, a mob lynched 32 year- old Bonny Okullo, a resident Bar-aliro village, Alango parish in Alango sub county Otuke when they found him in possession of 60 liters of fuel stolen from the home of another village mate.