Friday, 16 January 2009

Charcoal prices soar in Uganda reports:

Kampala — MOST Kampala residents have shifted from using electricity to charcoal, previously regarded as a cheap source of energy for the poor. But the charcoal prices have doubled within less than a year . Further increases are predicted if nothing is done to put things right. Gerald Tenywa tells how the masses are coping.

AISHA Kamara, a resident of Kinawataka, a Kampala suburb, leads a life full of challenges. "We have food, but no charcoal to cook with," says the 33-year-old Kamara. "So we look for wood chips and gather sawdust, which we use to cook."

She sends out her three young daughters to scavenge for whatever their little hands can get in order to have food ready. Charcoal, which used to be a cheap and easy source of energy for the poor like Kamara has become expensive.

"We can no longer afford to use charcoal everyday," she says. In a survey conducted by The New Vision, a sack of charcoal goes for an average of sh30,000 up from sh25,000 in October-November. The average price of charcoal was sh 15,000 last year, but has remained unstable. In Byeyogerere, Kireka and Banda, the prices range from sh28,000 to sh30,000 per sack.

Read the full story here

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