Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Charcoal prices in Kabale district have shot up in the past one months.
A sack of charcoal that was once sold at 20,000 Shillings now costs 32,000 Shillings.
Annet Kyomuhendo, a charcoal dealer in Kigongi in Central division Kabale municipality says that she now sells a sack of charcoal at 30,000 from 20,000 Shillings and a basin at 6,000 from 3,000 Shillings.
Kyomuhendo says that she was forced to increase the price after her supplier from the neighbouring Rukiga district also increased the price from 12,000 to 20,000 Shillings.
Jane Aturinda, another charcoal dealer in the Garage Street Market in Kabale Municipality attributes the increase of charcoal prices to the current high demand in Masaka and Kampala. According to Aturinda, traders now prefer transporting charcoal to Masaka and Kampala for more profits where they sell a sack at 50,000-70,000 Shillings after buying it from villages at 20,000 Shillings.
Simon Byamukama, the Executive Director of Let Us Save Uganda (LUSU), a Kigezi based non-government organization advocating for environment conservation says that an increase in charcoal prices is an indication that the green vegetation especially trees which are the primary source of charcoal have been degraded.
Byamukama however blames the government for failing to intervene and make other sources of energy more available to the public. According to Byamukama, people have stuck to the traditional means of using firewood and charcoal for cooking.
Achilles Byaruhanga, the Executive Director of Nature Uganda, another environmental conservation non-government organization says that this is the time for the government to start advising people to plant their trees where they can get charcoal and firewood.