23 Dec 2013

Energy Dept in Tuvalu says closing down some petrol stations will be hard

10:16 am on 23 December 2013

The energy department in Tuvalu says it's difficult to carry out advice to shut down up to 20 petrol retailers on Tuvalu's main island, as the businesses are the only source of income for some families.

An inspection of the 26 petrol retailers on Funafuti was carried out by a technical advisor with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, who found there were too many operating.

The advice was to have between 6 and 10 stay open on the island, and to shut down the rest.

But the Assistant Energy Planner, Nielu Meisake, says he would prefer to make sure all retailers are complying with standards, and are operating safely, rather than shut them down.

In the way of trying to approach people and say, you are stopped from the business, I think it's very hard for us. Some people they put a lot of effort to build up businesses and to earn revenue for the family to survive. We taking on board the advice to cut down but the procedure we're trying to use is if they don't comply with the regulation, if they breach the regulation, that's when we will try to stop them.

The Assistant Energy Planner in Tuvalu, Nielu Meisake.