• Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

The increase in expenses linked to the purchase of charcoal destabilizes family accounts


Jan 15, 2024

BUJUMBURA, January 14th (ABP) – The increase in expenses linked to the purchase of charcoal is shaking up family accounts. Indeed, charcoal is a basic necessity for cooking food, especially in Bujumbura city and its surrounding areas. However, this product has become very rare and expensive on the market as indicated by Mr. Séverin Ndoricimpa, the seller of charcoal at Kajaga in Mutimbuzi commune, during an interview given to a check by ABP on Tuesday, January 9, 2024.

Seller Ndoricimpa indicated that this high price coupled with the shortage of charcoal worries the people. He also declared that the change is enormous because half a bag of coal is bought between 60,000 and 70,000 BIF, whereas previously it was bought between 40,000 and 45,000 BIF. He also specified that a large bag of coal costs between 120,000 and 130,000 BIF, compared to 80,000 BIF in previous months.

This man living from this small business in the economic capital pointed out that his customers do not understand this situation. “Customers accuse us of dishonesty because they don’t know the problems we face,” he deplored.

Mr. Ndoricimpa also specified that charcoal is becoming increasingly rare at selling points. He claimed to have received only seven bags even though the charcoal seekers are numerous.

                                                                                                View of charcoal

Mrs. Elisabeth Ntahokagiye, a coal seller, testified that the coal trade no longer works. “The situation is beyond us. Coal is no longer available. Wholesalers tell us that they have difficulty finding coal in the country due to heavy rain and the lack of fuel and they often return with half-filled trucks’’.

Mrs. Ntahokagiye noted that she had placed an order for 40 bags and only received ten. In this case, she indicated that it will be difficult for her to pay her employee and the owner of the plot where her stand is located. She has even lost hope of being served again. “Recently, I have spent almost two weeks without any bags,” she said.

The situation is complicated in families because of the lack of charcoal. “We made the decision to cook only once a day. It would be very difficult for us to have seven thousand BIF per day intended to buy charcoal only,” declared Jeanne Nsabushimike, a mother of four children living at Kajaga. She added that “if the situation continues in the same way, I don’t see how I will continue to provide for my family. Worse still, prices have gone up, and wage stay the same.”

She asked government officials to see what they could do to reduce the price of charcoal, as many citizens living in the economic capital use charcoal to feed their families.

A domestic worker met at a charcoal selling point by the name of Pierre Nsengiyumva revealed that he buys charcoal to use per day at 5,000 BIF while the budget allocated to this item was 3,000 BIF, not even a month ago. The boss used to buy a whole bag, but for some time now the financial situation has no longer allowed him to do so. “I am obliged to manage on a daily basis the little coal that he is able to buy,” he said.