Tough times for Kenyans as charcoal prices hit an all-time high after ban on logging

A bag of charcoal is said to retail for Sh2,500 up from Sh1,500 three weeks ago

A bag of charcoal is currently retailing at Sh2,500 from an average of Sh1,500 three weeks ago, hitting the budgets of low-income households that use the commodity for cooking hard.

Likewise, the price of a four-kilogramme tin of charcoal mostly used by low-income earners has shot up to Sh120 from Sh70 a month ago.

Deputy President William Ruto last month suspended logging in government forests toallow reassessment of the forest cover in the country. He asked the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to look for a lasting solution to the drying of rivers.

Charcoal prices have more than doubled since 2008 amid a decry of continued degradation of key forests like the Mau Complex that has led to a decline in water levels in 12 rivers fed by the forest complex.

The destruction of thousands of hectares of public forests has been attributed to high demand for land and timber.

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