Colombo, Sri Lanka – As the Ukraine crisis deepens and the international supply chain situation worsens, bakeries in Sri Lanka have been struggling to continue operating and providing their essential services to the overall population.
Sri Lanka is going through a crippling financial crisis with a whopping 70 percent decrease in foreign exchange at $2.3 billion in January.
The government is struggling to meet its obligations of providing staples to its population, not the least of which is fuel.
The Bakery Owners’ Association says that more than a thousand bakeries had to be closed down due to the cooking gas shortage, causing bread prices to double in some urban areas.
Kumara Nanayakkara, a unionist, said people would have to stand in long queues to purchase staples, casting doubt on the government and their action to mitigate the crisis.
Bakery owners have expressed their dismay at their work conditions, saying that their stock of gas cylinders is insufficient and that getting a hold of cooking gas costs an arm and a leg.
Some have been forced to close their bakeries, as staff and workers complained that they do not have enough money to go back home.
“We’re doing our business under many difficulties. There’s no gas in the market. If they are available, we’ll have to buy them for a huge amount of money. We had no gas for about a week now,” Dilshan Kuruppu, a bakery staff, told A24.
Meanwhile, the island nation is suffering from an energy crisis that has led to vehicle fuel shortages and power cuts for long hours at night that exceeded ten hours as a result of foreign exchange shortage and the rise in gas prices worldwide.