Timber shortage in Kenya forces merchants to import commodity
A chronic timber shortage has hit Kenya forcing the country to turn to expensive imports from neighboring countries. The fort main plantation species such as cypress and pine, which accounted for over 80 per cent of the country's entire plantation area, are now at risk of extinction as their prices too has also increased by double digits.
Latest statistics indicate that the country spends more than 37. 5 million U.S. dollars annually on timber imports compared with 62, 000 dollars in 1999, to meet rising demand that now stands at 38 million cubic meters annually. For the past decade, Tanzania has been the major supplier for Kenya's construction industry as the government banned logging in 2000.
Kenya loses 616,000 trees very year to the coffins industry as 80 percent of the dead are buried in wooden coffins. Prices of timber products have also contributed to the increase coffins prices forcing the bereaved to spend more money than it was previously. Industry players blame the huge cost gap to the increased timber prices -from 100 dollars to more than 375 dollars.
Xinhuanet and cntv.cn