Supermarket shelves will soon be empty. People, particularly those in Colombo and the suburbs, are at risk of losing access to food and other necessities as a result of the country’s lockdown caused by the fuel scarcity. Retailers are struggling to replenish their shelves on time as they rush to refill their delivery fleets.
Since the weekend, the grocery shelves in Colombo and the surrounding areas have been largely empty, and the store managers and employees complain that the chronic fuel scarcity prevents them from receiving supplies on time.
They worry that their orders would be further delayed because the government has also restricted fuel supplies starting yesterday.
Small grocery stores are also on the verge of closing their doors as a result of running out of goods. This is because the suppliers who used to make deliveries every week or every two weeks, no longer do so.
This week, Transparency International Sri Lanka filed a Fundamental Rights case with the Supreme Court, urging action against individuals who were both directly and indirectly to blame for the economic collapse that resulted in millions of people starving and living in abject poverty.
Currently it’s unclear if the fleets that distribute food and other consumer products were considered an essential service when supplying the restricted fuel stocks, which are only expected to last for the next 10 days.