Kenyan household continues to struggle with increased charcoal prices since the government initiated a ban on logging.
A recent statistical analysis by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed that a 4 kilogram of charcoal was being sold at 138.13 shillings in June, up from 135.64 shillings in May, a 1.83 percent increase over a month.
The percent change as of June 2018 compared to the same period last year stood at 69.07 percent, as the same quantity of a 4-kilogram tin of Charcoal was being retailed at 81.70 shillings in June 2017.
Charcoal prices have increased greatly in the past four months since the implementation of a ban on logging. Households are being forced to dig deeper into their pockets to afford the commodity.
Destruction of Kenya’s key forests like the Mau Complex has been blamed on charcoal dealers’ pursuit of quick profits in urban centers.
In late February a nationwide logging ban was announced in Kenya by the Deputy President for an initial period of 90 days, to allow for reassessment and rationalization of the entire forest sector in Kenya. This was in response to increasing deforestation, droughts and human encroachment upon valuable forests and agricultural land.
Since then, the ban has been revised as being only applicable on communal land and government gazetted forest, extended for another 6 months and has resulted in substantial and detrimental increases in charcoal prices for consumers.
Whereas previously, a 45kg bag of charcoal would retail at around 1800 shillings in 2017, this figure has now jumped up to over 3000 shillings since the ban’s implementation in February.
In a country where 70 percent of all households use charcoal as their predominant cooking fuel and the net national per capita income is just $1226 per annum according to the2016, World Bank Data, this has a devastating impact on a consumer’s ability to purchase the charcoal they need.