57% of fuel stations don’t meet standards, report says  

Out of the 3,132 assessed fuel stations across Uganda, more than 1,773 were found to be non-compliant to required standards  . Photo / Edgar R Batte 

What you need to know:

  • A larger portion of the assessed fuel stations, which represents 57 percent or 1,773, did not meet standards.

A report by the Auditor General has indicated that a compliance assessment of 3,132 fuel stations across Uganda found that more than half don’t meet required standards under the US 947-1:2019. 

In details contained in the Auditor General’s report for the period ended June 2022, it was found that out of the 3,132 fuel stations that were assessed in eastern, western and central Uganda, only 1,359 were compliant.  

This, according to the findings indicates that a larger portion of the assessed fuel stations, which represents 57 percent or 1,773 did not meet standards.

“Review of the compliance assessment results of 3,132 fuel stations assessed in central, eastern and western regions against the different clauses of US 947-1:2019 standards revealed that a total of 1,773, which is 57 percent, contravened required standards,” the report reads in part.  

The US 947-1:2019 standards require operators of fuel stations to meet certain requirements during design, build and actual operations. 

The standards specify the conditions for design and positioning of the service station, as well as the setup and operation of equipment for storage and distribution of petroleum products. 

Other specifications, which were introduced on March 26, 2019, also require that fuel stations are installed with pressurised storage tanks, such as liquefied petroleum gas vessels. 

These reduce the risk of accidents and environmental harm, while ensuring that service stations operate safely.  Compliance with standards is mandated at both licencing and supervision levels under the Ministry of Energy and Uganda National Bureau of Standards. 

Asked about the Auditor General’s findings, Rev Frank Tukwasibwe, the Ministry of Energy commissioner for petroleum supply, said at the weekend that the subject will first be discussed internally and at Parliamentary level, after which government will come up with measures to ensure compliance. 

“We [Ministry of Energy] will first talk about it internally and address the issue,” he said, without give details. 

Non-compliant fuel stations present challenges among which include dealing in adulterated and smuggled fuel. 

In 2019, the Ministry of Energy and UNBS published a list of 75 fuel stations that they said were selling adulterated fuel.  In a notice, government indicated that more than 75 fuel stations had failed the quarterly fuel marking exercise that ensures fuel quality. 

The notice indicated that in addition to penalties, the fuel stations in question had been sealed off and would be opened after furnishing authorities with satisfactory remedial actions and a written undertaking of not committing such a default in the remaining period of their operating license.