The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) in Muchinga province has raised concern over the increase in the illegal selling of petroleum products in the region.
ERB Northern Region Senior Manager, Nkusuwila Silomba, said the selling of petroleum products illegally, especially around the Chinsali Central Business District (CBD), poses a great danger to the general public due to the poor storage of the product.
Mr Silomba lamented that the situation has prompted ERB to engage security wings to help curb the illegal act.
He was speaking to the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in an interview during a sensitisation and engagement programme with the public in Chinsali yesterday.
Mr Silomba further stated that there is need for strict interventions in order to reduce the vice.
“We are on the ground to raise awareness to our customers on buying fuel from the streets because it is compromised fuel that damages their motor vehicles,” he said.
He noted that the unlicensed fuel vendors do not add any value to the energy sector, stressing that consumers must completely desist from supporting such businesses.
Mr Silomba further said ERB will continue conducting awareness and sensitisation campaigns on energy products in a bid to impart knowledge in the consumers.
And Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Muchinga Provincial Investigator, Brignote Muzyamba, called on consumers to resort to using clean energy.
Mr Muzyamba, who was speaking during a joint public engagement programme with ERB while commemorating the World Consumer Rights Day, said CCPC is equally concerned with the availability of certain illegal energy products being sold in the district.
He said many consumers have been subjected to the purchase of poor, expired or compromised energy products due to lack of information on how to address such issues.
He explained that CCPC, together with ERB, have to this effect embarked on public sensitisation programmes regarding the need to purchase genuine energy products.
“Do not be worried about certain constraints that are available at the moment because we are here to help you understand,” he added.
Meanwhile, James Sichande, a Chinsali resident, said the move by ERB and CCPC is highly commendable.
Mr Sichande stated that the information that has been made available to the general public has helped them to understand the reasons behind the reduction and increase in fuel prices and electricity units among others.
He said more similar engagement programmes with the public should be introduced, especially when there are changes in prices of petroleum products.
The 2023 World Consumer Rights Day was being commemorated under the theme, ‘Empowering Consumers Through Clean Energy Transitions’.