Coal, firewood price hike worries Balkh residents

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Residents of northern Balkh province say the prices of firewood and coal have skyrocketed with the advent of winter and they could not afford to buy them.
Mir Zaman, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “My son has been injured in a traffic accident and is bed-ridden, I borrowed 400 afghanis from someone to purchase coal, I am unemployed and I wonder how the winter will pass off”.
Dill Agha, is another resident of Balkh, who is the only bread winner for his 12-member family.
Agha said: “I usually stand in front of the municipality square daily to find work, but I find work once or twice a week, I buy just breads with the money I earn. I don’t know how to buy coal and firewood for winter as their prices have increased as well”.
A number of other residents expressed similar views and they said the prices of fuel had skyrocketed and the government must find a solution to the price-hike.
A coal seller, Mohammad Zahir, admitted the coal prices had surged compared to the previous years. He sold seven kilograms of coal for 60afs last year and for 80afs this year. Similarly, the price of seven kilograms of firewood was 60afgs last year while its current rate is 70afs.
Imamuddin, another seller, told Pajhwok: “In the previous years, people would buy coal and firewood in tons, but this year they buy 20 or 30 kilograms of coal or firewood”.
Deputy governor of Balkh, Maulvi Noorulhadi Abu Idrees, acknowledged people’s concerns and said they had talked to aid giving organizations to help people during winter.
According to a report of Pajhwok Afghan News, the price of coal increased by 39 percent in Kabul compared to its last year’s rate and the price of fuel rose by 32 percent.