Nairobi poor suffer as charcoal prices increase by third after logging ban

Charcoal prices increase 27pc on logging ban

Pic: A charcoal trader at Makina market in Kibera, Nairobi. (NMG)

Low-income households continue to bear the brunt of the temporary ban on logging that has pushed up charcoal prices by 27 per cent in the past month.

Latest Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows the price of charcoal rose to an average of $1 per four-kilogramme tin in March.

This marks the highest rise since the KNBS started making public monthly prices of the cooking fuel in 2007.

The price jump came amid limited supply after the government in February imposed a three-month ban on logging following reports of mass deforestation that threatens the forest cover and water sources.

“Notable, charcoal recorded a 27.1 per cent increase in price during the review period,” the KNBS said in a statement.

Charcoal prices have increased 34 per cent over the past one year, making it the fastest yearly growth among household items, especially for low-income earners whose cooking needs are met by the biomass fuel.

This means poor homes that cannot afford alternative sources such as cooking gas have to dig deeper into their pockets to cook.

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