Papua New Guinea
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Firewood prices likely to increase

BY THEOPHILES SINGH

A Firewood vendor in Port Moresby has revealed that firewood prices will likely be increased to offset expenses incurred by vendors.

According to local vendor Tasi Yamo, firewood prices may increase from K5 to K10 because vendors are being faced with a lot of unnecessary expenses when it comes to collecting dry logs outside Port Moresby.

“The expenses are just too much for grassroots people like us. We hire vehicles for around K200 to drive outside the city limits in search for dry logs.

“When we get there, residents who are not even land owners of these areas charge us an additional fee of around K150 just to collect dry logs,” he said.

“These sorts of additional costs are unbelievable, especially when you are paying that much for dry logs and tree branches”.

“I know that these prices and fees are unregulated, but it is just unfair to vendors who make a living off selling firewood.”

He highlighted that firewood was a basic household necessity for many families accross Port Moresby, therefore interventions should be made to ensure the supply of firewood is kept at a steady rate.

“Once the number of logs we bring in decreases, other vendors will jump on that opportunity to increase the prices of firewood because of the low supply and high demand.

This will eventually affect the public who are consumers of firewood,” he explained.

“As vendors, we also have our own living expenses to think of as well. We have children in school, mouths to feed and other expenses that we have to cover.”

He appealed to traditional landowners in Central Province to restrict people who settle on their land from overcharging log fees to firewood vendors.

“These sort of practice is usually done by settlers and not by traditional land owners. It is embarrassing and very sad that our own people are doing this and inconsiderate of the general public,” he said.