- Title: Cooking gas shortages force Venezuelans to turn to firewood
- Date: 10th August 2017
- Summary: TACHIRA, VENEZUELA (RECENT - AUGUST 5, 2017) (REUTERS) RESIDENTS WAITING AND GATHERING AROUND TO PURCHASE GAS WOMAN AND BOY WAITING WHILE THEY STAND NEXT TO GAS TANKS MAN COVERING FACE AS HE SITS NEXT TO HIS EMPTY GAS TANK PILE OF FIREWOOD SEEN NEXT TO HOUSE VARIOUS OF VENEZUELAN HOMEMAKER, CARMEN RONDON, GATHERING FIREWOOD RONDON WALKING TOWARDS MAKESHIFT COOKING STOVE RONDON PLACING FIREWOOD INTO STOVE RONDON LIGHTING FIREWOOD RONDON COOKING ON STOVE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VENEZUELAN HOMEMAKER, CARMEN RONDON, SAYING: "We are short on gas for up to two to three months and when you get it you have to repay it (you pay extra) because it's very expensive. A small gas 18-litre container is charged up to 20,000 bolivares ($1,975 dollars) because we have to keep repaying it and that's why we cook with firewood." VARIOUS OF RONDON COOKING WITH FIREWOOD (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VENEZUELAN HOMEMAKER, CARMEN RONDON, SAYING: "I know that it's bad for our health. It's very bad to cook with firewood because it affects our lungs, makes us tear-up and gives us a headache and many other negative consequences, cooking with firewood." POT OVER FIRE RONDON FANNING FIRE RESIDENTS GATHERED TO PURCHASE GAS TANKS GAS TANKS LINED UP RESIDENTS QUEUING TO BUY GAS TANKS RESIDENTS' ARMS BEING MARKED BY OFFICIALS MAN CARRYING GAS TANKS ON SHOULDERS VARIOUS OF RESIDENT, PABLO CALDERON, PEELING CORN FROM THE COB / PLACING CORN INTO BUCKET CALDERON GATHERING FIREWOOD CALDERON FANNING MAKESHIFT STOVE CALDERON PLACING CORN COBS IN BOILING WATER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT, PABLO CALDERON, SAYING: "Where we live, gas trucks used to pass by up to three times a week and sometimes we had some gas left over. They (gas distributors) used to call our attention to purchase gas and why would we buy more, if we already had some. But not now. I go to the office and place an order and they reply by saying to be on the lookout. So, one keeps watch for the truck but none arrive. We have to beg anyone to come and fill up our gas tanks." VARIOUS OF CALDERON NEXT TO STOVE QUEUES OF PEOPLE WAITING TO PURCHASE GAS VARIOUS TRUCK DISTRIBUTING GAS TANKS VARIOUS OF RESIDENTS WAITING FOR GAS WOMAN DRAGGING GAS TANK
- Embargoed: 24th August 2017 18:38
- Keywords: firewood shortage home cooking gas oil industry domestic gas tanks
- Location: TACHIRA, VENEZUELA
- City: TACHIRA, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0016TKQV5V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Residents in crisis-hit Venezuela, a country with the world's largest oil reserves, have turned to cooking with firewood due to a chronic shortage of home cooking gas.
Finding domestic gas tanks has become increasingly difficult, a problem that oil industry analysts attribute to slumping oil output in the OPEC nation - which is struggling under an unravelling socialist economy.
Venezuelan homemaker Carmen Rondon says she has been left hoarse from breathing smoke, but added that gas is too expensive.
Nine out of 10 Venezuelan homes rely on tanks for home gas usage, with only 10 percent receiving it via pipelines, according to official figures. The government launched a plan 12 years ago to bring some 5 million households onto the natural gas network but was unable to follow through.
State oil company PDVSA says the problem is due to difficulties in distributing tanks amid four months of anti-government protests in which its trucks have been attacked.
Long lines to buy cylinders have spurred protests. Demonstrators in May burned 22 PDVSA trucks in a single day in response to the shortages.
The company says it is now distributing gas cylinders at night and before daybreak due to such protests, which also include roadblocks that prevent free movement of vehicles.
Venezuela's socialist economy has been in freefall since the oil price collapse in 2014, creating shortages of everything from diapers to cancer medication and spurring inflation to triple-digit levels. President Nicolas Maduro says he is the victim of an "economic war" by the opposition, and says violent street protests are part of an effort to overthrow him.
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