Photo of the week: Yellow gallons, a sign of Ghanaian hardship

In Ghana, yellow gallons mean more than just an empty oil container. They are a telling sign of the state of the economy. Usually hidden away from sight in homes, the gallons gain executive importance when a crisis or a shortage of anything liquid hits the country.

From the North to the South, the yellow gallon is a common national denominator of hardship and hard whips of an essential product shortage.

Under President John Agyekum, the gallons meant water shortage. We called them Kufuor gallons.

Under President Mahama. the gallons have come to mean fuel shortage. We call them – well, you decide.

In this photo taken by’s photojournalist David Andoh, the colour of shortage is clear – yellow

Ghana faced actute fuel shortage last week leading to long meandering queues of people and gallons. Fuel stations were reportedly selling the fuel in yellow gallons at cut-throat prices. Hoarding a term common in 1979, were resurrected. And the police have had to arrest some fuel station attendants for hoarding fuel.

The Ministry of Health has however warned that storing fuel in yellow gallons is dangerous. It could lead to inflaming the substance; and all though we have no reports of such an incident, prevention is also better.

  Story by Ghana||Edwin.Appiah|[email protected]

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