By Momodou Darboe
The market price of charcoal has been fluctuating for the past twelve months but it has reached an all-time high as a bag of the fuel can now fetch over D350.
Early last year, a sack of coal was trading somewhere around D150 but it jumped to D200 and then D300 at year end.
The southern Senegalese province of Casamance is the Gambia’s main source of charcoal but there is currently an increased Senegalese security presence on the frontier which, charcoal merchants said, is affecting the flow of the commodity into the country.
Senegal has banned charcoal production for many years now but its neighbor-The Gambia- depends heavily on it for household cooking and heating.
The Standard has gathered from multiple sources that the sky-high market price of coal is as a result of the more robust border control measures being employed by the Senegalese security.
Meanwhile, The Gambia is also experiencing a significant drop in the number of logs being traded from Casamance into the country.
This is also an outcome of the presence of many Senegalese boots on the Gambian soil to police the Casamance forests.