With the cold weather of winter arriving in Lebanon, the amounts of gas needed for warmth in households increases. Every year, the Lebanese who depend on gas for heating their homes during the cold season naturally invest in more gas cylinders.
However, this year is not like any other year for the Lebanese. The economy is falling apart and bringing down with it the chance for the citizens of this country to lead, at least, normal lives of minimal suffering.
The people of Lebanon have been forced into a reality in which basic human and societal needs, such as electricity, internet, water, fuel, and now gas, are becoming harder to get with each day that passes.
The worsening electricity rationing issue this year means that more people will rely on gas to keep themselves warm during winter.
But now that the local market is getting short on this resource, many Lebanese people will have no choice but to pray and hope for a miracle to end the crisis as they shiver in their cold, unlit homes.
The reason for this is the fact that the companies responsible for the import of natural gas in Lebanon have not been compliant with the central bank's import policies, which aim to keep the prices relatively stable.
Instead, they are taking advantage of the economic situation to hide 40% of the imports in order to seize additional profit, then proceeding to distribute the rest to local sellers.
As a result, local sellers are forced to lift the price of the gas cylinder in order to compensate for the actions of the greedy distributors.
The spreading news about the shortage of gas in Lebanon has caused people to rush to stations to fill their empty cylinders before it's too late.
As expected, the secretary of the Gas Distributors Syndicate in Lebanon, Jean Hatem, said, "There is no gas crisis on the horizon, and we assure the Lebanese and call on them not to rush to the gas filling centers."
The local sellers and station owners, of course, tell an entirely different story. It's true that, so far, the substance is not completely depleted, but the situation certainly is getting worse by the day.
And in the end, the poor Lebanese citizen is forced to pay the price of the ridiculous irresponsibility and poor management of the greedy individuals and their private companies.
These private companies control the flow of the most basic needs into the country while refusing to be held responsible for the absence of these needs and pretend that everything is normal and under control; when it very obviously is not so.
The government, if and when that is formed anyway, must be the sole distributor of such essential products and resources. Gas must be available at all times for all people, at reasonable prices.
It is a very important substance on which every Lebanese household depends on for cooking and warmth, among other necessary daily needs. What our people are going through is devastating enough as it is...