Two years later, ban on charcoal does little to save our forests

Forestry officials and conservators look on as confiscated charcoal is destroyed in Narok County during a crackdown. Up to 82 percent of urban and 34 percent of rural households use charcoal for cooking.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • A multi-agency team that has been studying the effects of the moratorium is expected to release its report this month.
  • The price of a 90kg bag has risen from Sh500 to Sh3,000. The 2kg tin price has doubled from Sh50 to Sh100.
  • People who lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 economic shut down have also turned to charcoal for a living.
  • Up to 82 per cent of urban and 34 per cent of rural households use charcoal for cooking. The Sh42 billion a year sector supports more than a million people.

Two years after Kenya declared a moratorium on charcoal trade, questions arise as to whether the ban is achieving its purpose of protecting public forests.

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