Charcoal trade thrive in Nakuru despite the ban
SEE ALSO :Nakuru Airport plans near take-offWhen this writer approached the riders pausing as a buyer, they declined to sell the charcoal claiming offloading was tedious and the offer of Sh1,000 was low compared to the market price. In Nakuru town, the charcoal traders make at least Sh2,000 per bag which they purchase at Sh750. “We cannot sell the charcoal to you, your offer is far much below what we will get, further offloading is tedious and you can wait for those carrying two and or three bags and negotiate with them,” said one of the riders who declined to identify himself. The Standard team followed the riders to a roadblock where they were flagged down by police and in a short while they were allowed to proceed with their journey. “We are doing our work and police officers are doing theirs, we have no problem and we will pass the roadblock with our goods,” said the rider.
SEE ALSO :Investors pledge billions at eventA spot check along the Eldama Ravine-Mogotio route reveals that charcoal burning is rampant. Charcoal dealers along the route display bags of charcoal by the roadside. At Muserechi and Esageri centers we counted several bags of charcoal. The sellers however, cannot be spotted unless an interested buyer approaches. One of the women who had displayed two bags of charcoal under a shade along the road said she had more in the store. “This is just for display. I however have more in store just in case you need,” she said. She disclosed that they cut down acacia trees which they burn to get charcoal.
SEE ALSO :Search for Nakuru killer motorist onShe further said that harassment from police and environment officers was on the decline and it was now business as usual. Similarly, in Marigat locals continue with the charcoal trade, but they fell the dreaded Prosobis Juliflora commonly known as Mathenge. Facing resistance Mau Head of Conservancy Fred Ogombe said yesterday he sent a team to crackdown on charcoal traders. He said the ban on charcoal trade is facing resistance and illegal loggers have devised ways to evade arrest. “Even today I sent a team to conduct a crackdown on the illegal charcoal trade, we will also have meeting with our counterparts in the police service to forge way forward,” he said. Charcoal burning, he noted, is illegal across the country.