The cost of timber has inflated by up to 60 percent, triggered by the government’s plan to buy school furniture from the local entrepreneurs.
A foot of cypress wood that was previously sold at Sh160 before the government announced the Sh1.9 billion stimulus package for artisans, currently retail for Sh250.
Timber merchants also increased the price of mahogany wood from Sh380 a foot before the government announcement, to Sh500 currently.
“The suppliers increased prices immediately the advertisement was put out,” said Justus Mwika, a carpenter operating on Ngong Road, Nairobi told Daily Nation.
This implies that consumers will pay more for finished timber products as carpenters carry forward the cost to stay afloat amid the tough economic stationed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Carpenters have been grappling with low cut timber supply following an anti-logging ban in both public and community forests since 2019
“The ban and now the government call for the supply of school furniture has increased cost of wood by a big margin,” said David Munue, who uses timber imported from Congo told Business Daily.
Munue said six by four bed that used to retail at Sh6,000 currently goes for Sh7,000.
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The government invited carpenters to register with Deputy County Commissioners to be considered for the supply of public school desks and lockers ahead of reopening.
Apart from timber, the prices of metal tubes, an essential raw material for making school desks and chairs also hiked following the announcement.
“We are being told there will be 700,000 orders for desks but now the suppliers of those raw materials have hiked prices,” said Richard Muteti, the chief executive of the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations.