Thursday, 18 August 2011




Firewood, charcoal and crop and animal residues in sub-Sahara Africa account for 60-95% of the local energy use, with the highest proportions in the poorest countries and in the household sector. (Leach and Means, 1985).

Like any other developing country, Uganda is confronted with an energy situation of inadequate and unreliable energy supplies. Most households rely on wood fuel for cooking and heating, yet it is the same wood that has to provide timber for building and fencing (poles), construction and furniture. The wood fuel problem is likely to cause desertification and also lead to other environmental problems such as soil erosion, excessive runoffs, floods, siltation of water sources and reservoirs, lowering water tables and even local climate changes. This implies that Uganda is likely to experience environmental deterioration and degradation which is likely to increase poverty (Kerekezi, 1991). The wood fuel crisis also implies that wood fuel using industries are likely to face hardship in obtaining fire wood which they need for individual activities and this reduction in the energy use might lower the out put which will affect the majority of the people (Tranzia, 1982).

Statement of the problem

Wood fuel has been the major source of energy in rural areas. However, an assessment of the causes of wood fuel crisis in Katooke sub-county has never been carried out. Therefore, the research will aim at assessing the causes of wood fuel crisis in the area. The research will also involve the indicators, causes, effects on the people and the measures taken to overcome the problem in the area of study.

Damson (1984) stresses that man minds about profits obtained from the environment, with little concern about the future. He further argues that, the major problems that face the world should be solved by addressing the changes in the way in which societies operate to sustain life. This therefore is an obligation to us to advocate for sustainable resource utilization.

Research questions

The research study will be carried out with the following questions in mind;
  1. What are the indicators of wood fuel crisis in Katooke sub-county?
  2. What are the causes of wood fuel crisis?
  3. What are the effects of wood fuel crisis?
  4. What alternatives do people have other than wood fuel?

Objectives of the study

General objectives
The overall objective is to assess the causes of the wood fuel crisis in Katooke sub-county.
Specific objectives
  • To document tree species preferred for wood fuel in Katooke sub-county.
  • To identify the indicators of wood fuel crisis.
  • To find out the causes of wood fuel crisis.
  • To examine the effects of wood fuel crisis.

Scope of the study

The study will be conducted in three parishes of Rwamukoora, Rubango and Myeri of Katooke sub-county. It will establish the extent to which the wood fuel problem threatens the well being of the people due to over dependence on wood fuel as the source of energy.

Key concepts

Wood fuel: is a form of energy used mainly for cooking, warming and heating in homes and small scale industries. It includes fire wood and charcoal.
Energy: is what enables us to do work. Examples of work include cooking food, clearing land for farming, transporting goods such as crops from the garden to the home and from home to the market and others.


Literature review

Indicators of wood fuel crisis

Wood fuel crisis is not a new phenomenon and neither is it restricted to a particular country (Turyabanawe, 1992). There are already shortages in most areas all over the world. Domestic life is being affected and is a major concern in the long run in the rapid environmental deterioration which threatens food production and even life supporting systems (Dasman, 1989).
According to WEDP (2003), there are five indicators of wood fuel energy crisis. Users spend more time on firewood collection and walking long distances which wastes energy and time, paying for firewood in places where it has been free, cooking less meals per day and also eating cold meals, avoiding foods like beans that require a lot of time and firewood to cook, using fuels that produce a lot of smoke or that burn so quickly like in agricultural and forest wastes; use of tree stumps and root for cooking.

Causes of fuel wood crisis

According to Hamilton (1984), rapid depletion of free resources of Uganda has led to increasing shortages of firewood.
According to Greenberg and Wuhi (1990), agricultural expansion is one of the factors contributing to the loss of wood fuel. It is estimated that between 300,000-400,000 hectares of wood lands are lost annually under agriculture expansion as a result of rapid transformation from subsistence to commercial farming.

Effects of wood fuel crisis

According to World Bank (1991), increasing scarcity of woods is pushing more for other sources of energy and this trend shows no significance of being reversed. A Kerekezi (1991) state that as the availability of wood fuel diminishes, scarce cash resources have to be used to purchase alternative wood fuel, standards of living might fall.
Hamilton (1984) observed that when wood fuel becomes scarce, the price paid by city consumers tends to rise and this can make conventional fuels such as gas, kerosene or electricity more competitive. He further explained that in this case, those who are able to make switch away from wood fuel usually do so but the poor tend to find themselves caught in a poverty trap on which they are forced to continue buying wood fuel even after it has become more expensive than other fuels.

Kerekezi (1993) asserts that in areas of wood fuel scarcity, family members walk long distances and spend much time while looking for firewood. He further said that collecting firewood from other people’s land was quite acceptable but now this is being discouraged as land holders become more protective of their own interests.

According to the World Bank (1991), wood fuel scarcity leads to a reduction in energy use which may mean that less nutritional food is cooked. Opiro (1998), observed that in areas of fuel scarcity, fewer meals may be cooked with an inevitable effect on nutritional levels and the health of the family members. He further argued that, the economies on fuel may result in foods being cooked and kept over to be eaten cold at other times with a risk of contamination.

Dasman (1989) argued that lack of fuel can affect the commercial activities such as food processing and beer making on which families rely for cash in some parts of Ghana. It has been found that the commercialization of wood fuel has forced some family members to withdraw from some of their cash earning activities because they can not afford the fuels.

Opera (1998) and Kerekezi (1993) stated that wood fuel crisis affects the physical environment. There have been out cries in different media in Uganda about environmental degradation due to wood fuel crisis. This is because more people tend to encroach on forests as the last resort in order to obtain wood fuel (firewood and charcoal). The WEDP (2003), states that an activity like deforestation seems to make survival over time difficult. It further mentioned that, this has been proved by environmental degradation as a result of increase in temperature, change in rainfall regimes, drought and land degradation.


However, Adossiver on wood fuel in the developing world (EP, 2002), noted that some of this early programmes were on technical grounds and also paid little attention to how the new stoves filled into working pattern of the households or how they could be introduced spread scale part to solve the problem. Stove designers focused on the fuel efficiency of the stoves without taking account of how they could be used in the kitchen.
Kerekezi (1991) stated that in areas of wood fuel scarcity natural biogas can act as an alternative to wood fuel. He noted that in most rural areas, especially when cattle keeping is done, it can be easy to get materials for making biogas. He further mentioned that urine from these animals is a major contribution factor of natural biogas formation.

Wood fuel crisis preventive measures

Turgabanawe (1992) suggested that the problem must be addressed from the point of view of firewood users themselves using an approach which enables them to work out their own options for coping with it. He urged that the provision of firewood in rural societies is exclusively the responsibility of women and in seeking solution to the problem of firewood shortages. Then it is essential to use methods of extension which recognize and deal with the problem from women’s perspective.

It is essential to find out what women themselves think is the most effective response when they find their wood supplies becoming shorter which on the other hand will vary according to the location, their economic social conditions and the alternatives available to them.

Kerekezi (1991) stated that no solution which is imposed from out side will work if local people do not accept it themselves. He further suggested that local people should commit themselves to programs launched on their behalf. They must see how they are going to benefit from them and only feasible route to a sustainable long-term future is through projects which also make sense in the shorter term. He further stated that the aid planners must have a sense of reality equal to that of the people they are trying to help. The World Bank (1991) suggested that another way in which wood fuel crisis can be dealt with is to make organization implement local tree planting prospects and some national re-aforestation project should be planned by the forest department, CARE International and the World Bank.
Ottiti (1991), suggested that one way in which the problem may be resolved is to wait until firewood becomes so scarce and the opportunity out is so high that extensive planning becomes attractive by the time the environmental situation is probably passed. He further noted that establishment of a wood fuel plantation may be an economically attractive proposition for an institution. Wood fuel consumers even in an area where wood fuel is not yet viable crop to the individual farmer.

According to Opiro (1997) practicing agro forestry can act as a preventive measure of wood fuel crisis. He noted that agro forestry provides a range of benefits including the firewood, since it allows the plantation of trees.

Kerekezi (1993), stated that a more attractive approach would be to use the process of education in order to change the perception of the community there by changing the perceive value placed upon wood fuel trees. He noted that the integration of tree planting activities into the educational programmes of local primary schools through establishment of the plantation on the school compounds can act as a preventive measure of wood fuel crisis. He further noted that the basic concept is to use the schools “green island” (plantation) to introduce the children to environmental issues in a variety of different subjects in the same way that school farms are used to facilitate education in agriculture and related topics.


Description of the study area and methodology

Description of the study area

Location and size

The study was conducted in Katooke sub county Kyenjojo district located in western Uganda. It is found in Tooro region. Katooke Sub County spreads across 248.06km2 and it boarders several sub counties with Nyankwanzi in the North, Bufunjo in the East, Kihurra and Kyenjojo town council in the south then Kyarusozi in the West. The sub county headquarters are located at 0.0740380North and 0.30693860E. Its land area approximates 248.06km2. The sub county is divided into six administrative units with 70 villages.
Population of the study area
The area has a total number of 7396 households with a total population of 34387 people of which 17306 are males and 17081 females.

Table.1  Demography of Katooke sub county per parish.

Number of households


The topography of the area is divided into Hills, flat lands and valleys.
Hills: they are commonly in Nyamwandara, Nyakisi and Rwamukoora parishes and they are Nyamwandara, Nyakiisi and Nyakati hills.
Flat lands: these are mostly found in areas bordering Bufunjo.
Valleys: they are found in the areas nears the hills and characterized by seasonal swamps.

Geology and soils

The geology of kyenjojo consists of the Kiamara catena which has major soils of red sandy, clay loams covered by soft lateries. This covers Bufunjo and Nyakisi. It also has the Kyenjojo series which has black loams over red sandy loams or volcanic soils which covers Munjeru, Myeri and Kijwiga. The major soils include red sandy, clay, black loam over sandy volcanic soils.


It consists of both favourable and unfavourable vegetation cover. It is known that tall and ever green vegetation cover exists in fertile soils which favour agriculture while short, thorny and dry type of vegetation cover usually indicate poor soils for land utilization. Some few parts of katooke Sub County indicate pleasant agriculture land while the rest of its parts have short, thorny trees indicating poor soils and limit the ability of land use capacity.


The district receives bimodal annual rainfall averaging 1200mm per annum with temperature averaging 20-300 C in all parts of the district. The bimodal rainfall begins from February to May and August to December. The rainfall is relief and the weather is cool.
Generally the area experiences favourable prevailing temperatures in rainy season and dry season is comparatively short compared to other dry areas like semi arid areas.

Population growth and economic activities

The population of the district has been growing at a rate of 3.75% per annum and that 98% of the people stay in rural Kyenjojo which has led to more pressure on land including forests and wet lands. Katooke sub-county has had most of the forests encroached. (Kyenjojo district state of environment report, 2004).

Economic activities

The major economic activities carried out in Katooke sub-county and Kyenjojo district include Arable farming, lumbering, livestock rearing, trade, charcoal burning, brick making, sand mining and transport. The above economic activities have had a serious impact on the environment.


Research design

It will be exploratory study where both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used by the researcher. Respondents are randomly selected through multi stage cluster random sampling.

Data will be edited, coded and tabulated. It is qualitative in a sense that data is analysed before, during and after data collection hence thematically, Purposive sampling is used where the individuals who are knowledgeable about the problem (indicators, causes, effects, alternatives and mitigation measures of wood fuel crisis) are selected.

Sampling procedure and size

The researcher will use random sampling where three parishes will be selected at random without replacement. This will be done by writing the names of the three parishes on three pieces of papers that will be folded and then picked in a basket. Three pieces of paper will be picked one at a time without replacement. The three parishes consist of villages and so respondents will be randomly selected from them using the village household lists. Sampling of the villages will be carried out with the help of village council leaders who will provide village map and give direction. Interviews will be conducted in Runyoro-Rutooro with the help of an interpreter and the responses will be recorded in English. Observations will also be made to verify the information provided by the respondents.

Research instruments

The structure of interview schedule will be self administered. During the meetings the objectives will be highlighted. This will help to acquire information on historical and geographical background. This will be through open discussions. All the questions and answers will be recorded. Additional information will be captured from personal observation. Questionnaires will be administered to different respondents to acquire information from real people who face the problem. Photographs will be taken particularly for areas of major concern. Primary data will be collected by interview, observation, use of photographs and questionnaires but secondary data will be from reference documents in the libraries.

Data collection methods

This research will use both primary and secondary sources of data. Secondary data will be obtained from library books and newspapers. Primary data will be obtained from the field using data collection methods like interviewing, observation, photographs and questionnaires.
  • Questionnaires
These will be presented to the respondents to answer the questions concerning the assessment of the causes of wood fuel crisis in Katooke sub-county. This will help to acquire information on the geographical background of the study and information on the methods of wood fuel collection.
  • Observation
This will help the researcher to obtain information by studying with his own eyes. Through observation the researcher will identify the causes, effects and indicators of wood fuel crisis in the areas of study.
  • Interviewing
This will be carried out along side with the questionnaire. Here other questions that will not be asked in the questionnaire will be asked to conform some observations and responses.
  • Photography method
The researcher will take some photographs so as to record some aspects of the environmental damage due to human activities like charcoal burning, deforestation and others.

Data analysis

  • Quantitative data analysis
The data will be edited before leaving the respondents. The researcher will work for consistence, legibility, uniformity, completeness and comprehensibility. The data will be analysed by use of statistical package for social scientists (SPSS) and interpreted in terms of frequencies, percentages and statistical figure tables, cross tabulation and chi-square tests.
  • Qualitative data analysis
The data will be analysed before, during and after data collection. Before data collection tentative themes of indicators, causes, effects and measures are confirmed. After collection, data is entered in Microsoft excel to establish the similarity between the important species identified and a report will be written.



Characteristics of respondents

Over 64% of respondents are female and 36% males. 25% of respondents are single. 38.3%, 11.7% and 8.3% of them were married, divorced and widowed respectively.

Table 2 Social demographic characteristics of the respondents

Frequency of respondents



Education level

No education

Marital status




Over 40% of the respondents interviewed had attained primary level of education while 35%, 11.7%, 8.3% and 3.3% of them had no education, secondary, college and university education respectively. More than 50% of the respondents were farmers and 78% of them carried out agriculture as their economic activity.

Tree species preferred for wood fuel in katooke Sub County

The major tree species preferred for wood fuel were Mitrigyna ribrustipulata, Canarium Schweinfurthii, Markhamla lutea, Syzygium cordatum, Ekebergia capensis, Warburgia Dodonaea angustifolia, Blighia unijugata. Ugandesis, Albizia guminifera, reported by 66.7%, 63.3%, 50%, 41.7%, 38.3%, 36.7%, 33.3%, 33.3% of the respondents respectively.

Table 3: major preferred tree species used for wood fuel in katooke sub-county

Frequency of respondents
Mitrigyna ribrustipulata
Canarium Schweinfurthii
Ekebeigia capensis
Markhamla lutea
Warbugia ugandensis
Albizia gummifera
Dodonia angustifolia
Blighia unijugata

Indicators of wood fuel crisis

The major indicators of wood fuel crisis in the area were walking long distances, eating cold foods, avoiding hard foods, buying firewood, use of tree stumps and roots and use of maize straws as reported by 83.3%, 58.3%, 33.3%, 63.3%, 25.0% and 16.7% of the respondents respectively (Table 3). Over 91% of the respondents had reported to one meal a day, twice and three times a day as reported by 50% and 33.3% of the respondents respectively

Table 4: indicators of wood fuel crisis in katooke sub-county

Walking long distances
Eating cold foods
Avoiding hard foods
Buying firewood
Use of stumps and roots
Reduction in number of meals to

Once a day
Twice a day
Thrice a day

Causes of wood fuel crisis katooke Sub-county

Over 75% of the respondents report poverty as the cause of wood fuel crisis in the area. Other causes include population increase, deforestation, poor cooking methods, agricultural expansion, bush and charcoal burning reported by 63.3%, 58.3%, 50%, 41.7%, 25%, 33.3% and 16.7% of the respondents respectively

Table 5: causes of wood fuel crisis in katooke sub-county

Population increase
Poor cooking method
Agricultural extension
Bush burning
Charcoal burning

Effects of wood fuel crisis in katooke sub-county

Wood fuel crisis in katooke sub-county has resulted into scarcity of firewood, malnutrition, Environmental degradation, reduction in the number of meals and general reduction in the welfare of the community reported by 58.3%, 33.3%, 50%, 41.7% and 33.3% of the respondents respectively

Table 6: Effects of wood fuel crisis in katooke sub-county, Kyenjojo district

Scarcity of firewood
Environmental degradation
Reduction in the number of meals
General welfare of the community

Alternatives to wood fuel crisis

Over 83% of the respondents in katooke Sub-county wished to use fire saving stoves as an alternative for wood fuel. Other alternatives identified included electricity, biogas and solar energy reported by 50%, 25% and 16.7% of the respondents respectively

Table 7: Alternatives to wood fuel crisis in katooke Sub-county

Number of respondents
Fire saving stoves
Solar energy

Strategies for mitigating wood fuel crisis in katooke sub-county

Strategies for mitigating wood fuel crisis were reported by the respondents include community education, use of energy saving stoves, planting of trees and practicing agro forestry reported by 83.3%, 75%, 70% and 50% of the respondents respectively

Table 8: strategies for mitigating wood fuel crisis in katooke sub-county.

Number of respondents
Community education
Use of energy saving stoves
Planting of trees
Agro forestry practicing

Tree species most preferred for timber

There are many tree species which produce good timber which is used for making furniture products. This has led to heavy deforestation. These tree species include;

Table. 9 Tree species most preferred for timber

Standard name
Botanical name
Local name
Canarium African
Canarium schweinfuahi
Celtis African
Celtis mildbraedii
Gedu Nohor
Entandrophragma Angolense
Chlorophora oxcelsa
Diospyros abyssinica
Macaranga kilima ndscharica
Fagaropsis angolensis
Khaya anthotheca
Terygota mildbreadii
Cordial abysinica
Chrysophyllum albidum
Maesopsis Eminii

Celtis durandii
Lovoa trichibioidis
Newtonia Buchananii



Tree species preferred for wood fuel

Most trees which are preferred for firewood include Mitrigyna ribrustipulata, Canarium schweweinfurthil, Markhamia lutea, Ekebeigia capensis, syzgiun cordatum and waburgua ugandesis are facing extinction and this was attributed to the fact that most people prefer to use the above species because they last longer when some one is using them for cooking, strong and resistant to fire and they do not produce a lot of smoke Mc Dermott (2003).
The preferred tree species for charcoal production like Combretum molle have become scarce which has forced people to opt for substitutes like Acacia sieberiana and Ficus natalensis. This affects the indigenous species in the area. According to McDermott (2003), in cases where substitutes for wood fuel may not be available, population growth and socio-economic changes would continue steadily to impact on forest resources.

Indicators of wood fuel crisis

Over 80% of the respondents reported that they used to walk short distance to collect firewood because firewood was abundant in the surrounding area, the fact that now one has to walk long distances in order to fetch firewood, is an indication that there is a wood fuel crisis in the area. According to WEDP (2003), walking long distances to collect firewood can divert people’s efforts from mother developmental activities. In katooke Sub-county, women and children are now the ones most affected by the long distances as they are the ones who are so much involved in the cooking activities and other household responsibilities.

According to Gardner (1999) women are primary collectors and users of wood fuel. These are the ones walking long distances. over 90% of the respondents in katooke sub-county reportedly eat one meal a day due to firewood and fear to walk long distances to collect firewood, they also fear paying high prices for firewood. A report by WEDP (2003) confirms that spending more time on firewood collection, walking long distances, cooking less meal per day and buying firewood are high indicators of wood fuel crisis.

Causes of wood fuel crisis

Over 70% of the respondents reported that poverty is the major cause of wood fuel scarcity in katooke sub-county. Poverty has also been attributed to the fluctuations in rainfall. Intensive deforestation, bush burning and charcoal burning has also been reported to affect both rainfall amount and agricultural activities in the sub-county intensifying poverty. According to Maslow (2003), poverty is a trap which can force people into dependence on land thus depletion of wood resources since over one billion people in rural areas of developing world live in absolute poverty, with the increasing vicious circle of poverty people always get involved in cutting down trees from woodlands for sale in order to earn money for general livelihoods.

Population increase can also cause wood fuel crisis. The population growth rate of katooke Sub county has been growing annually due to the migration of the Bakiga from Kabale to katooke Sub-county at a rate of 4.99% per annum Kyenjojo District Environment Report (2004). As a result of this, over 99% of the people stay in villages which have led to more pressure on land including forests and wetlands. Most of the forests in katooke Sub-county have been encroached for agriculture, building construction and firewood use thus affecting the forest in the area Kyenjojo District Environment (2004). According to FAO (2001) rapid expansion of population over the last few decades has greatly intensified the pressure on wood resources. This is due to the fact that as population increases the demand on the wood resource also increases leading to the wood fuel scarcity.

Poor methods of cooking has also intensified wood fuel crisis in katooke Sub-county whereby most of the people use three open stoves for cooking (Plate 1). This type of open cooking takes a lot of firewood and producing a lot of smoke also contributing to wood fuel crisis. Although some respondents have tried to change from using open stones to improved stoves like lorena stoves (Plate 1) the construction technology for this is still very poor.
Agriculture expansion and clearance of vegetation for agriculture without giving more chance to the growth of more trees and vegetation have intensified the problem of wood fuel scarcity in the area. According to Hamilton (2002), rapid depletion of tree resources for agriculture expansion in Uganda has led to increasing shortages of firewood. Besides, agriculture expansion has reported to be the major factors contributing to the loss of wood fuel as an estimated 300,000-400,000 hectares are lost annually under agricultural expansion due to rapid transformation from subsistence to commercial economies (Greenberg and grand, 2001).

Charcoal burning (Plate 2) has also caused wood fuel crisis in the area as most trees have been cut down which are the main source of firewood. Due to clearance of trees, major preferred tree species have divided and now majority of respondents have resorted to moving long distances in search of wood fuel.

According to Hamilton (2002), charcoal production for urban markets has put heavy pressure on wood resources in Uganda. Due to this some tree species which are good for wood fuel like Albizia grandibracteateata, Entada abyssinica, Accacia hockii (Table 2) have disappeared. According to Kerekezi (1998), bush burning combined with charcoal burning are major causes of tree species disappearance. This has been worsened by intensification of population increase in this area (Table 3).

Effects of wood fuel crisis

Wood fuel crisis in katooke Sub-county has resulted into walking long distances to collect firewood and made more people to become more protective of their land and trees (Table 4). According to Kerekezi (1998) collecting firewood from other people’s land is very difficult as more people can always become protective of their land and all natural resources in them. Further more, reduction in energy use, less cooking of food, fewer meals cooked once a day and keeping cooked to be eaten cold are all signs of wood fuel crisis. World Bank (2001) indicates that wood fuel scarcity can lead to a reduction in energy use which may mean that less nutritional food is cooked.

Wood fuel crisis has also affected the general welfare of the community resulting into high poverty level (Table 3), high levels of malnutrition, poor feeding and eating of cold food (Table 4). In addition, there has been increased environmental degradation. The removal of the vegetation cover (trees) from land due to charcoal burning and expansion of agriculture exposes land to environmental deterioration. According to Opira (1998) and Kerekezi (1998) wood fuel crisis always affects the physical environment.

Alternatives of firewood

The major alternatives to firewood respondents wished to use for cooking is electricity. Most of the respondents suggested the use of electricity for cooking and heating in some households would make switch from charcoal and firewood thus conserving trees in the area. Even then the area does not have electricity as per now.
Kerekezi (1998) and Turwareba (1998) suggested that where wood fuel scarcity occurs, other alternative sources of energy such as electricity, biogas, wood fuel saving stoves and many other different sources of energy can be used.

In the study area 25% of the respondents would want to use biogas as an alternative for wood fuel (Table 5). Most of these respondents keep animals and they propose the use of animal wastes like dung and urine for cooking and providing lighting in homes. The implication of this is that biogas technology should be promoted in the area.

Strategies for mitigating wood fuel crisis

83% of the respondents reported that community education on the importance of trees in rain formation and provision of fodder for animals, conservation of trees fro firewood would be very important. Awareness creation on the effects of firewood scarcity, importance of trees and promotion of tree planting for firewood would help reduce the effects of wood scarcity and ensure sustainable use of trees in the area.
According to Kerekezi (1998), when community education is emphasized it can help change people’s perception from dependence on open stoves which takes a lot of firewood and charcoal to improved cooking stoves. Community education and sensitization about improved cooking stoves like Lorena stoves which is economical and uses little firewood would help in solving wood fuel scarcity and reduce pressure on wood resources.


Conclusions and recommendations


Based on the results on the study the following conclusions have been drawn
  1. The major tree species preferred for wood fuel in katooke sub-county were Mitragyne rubrustipulata, Canarium schweinfurthil, Markhamia lutea, syzygium cordatum, Ekebergia capensis, Warburgia ugandesis, Albiziza gummifera, Dodonaea angustifolia, Blighia unijugata.

  1. Indicators of wood fuel crisis in the area included: eating cold foods, buying firewood, reduction in number of meals, spending more time on collecting firewood, avoiding preparation of hard foods like beans, use of tree stumps, tree roots and maize straws for cooking.

  1. The major causes of wood fuel scarcity ranged from high level of poverty, population increase, expansion of agriculture, deforestation, poor cooking methods, charcoal and bush burning plus brick making.

  1. Due to wood fuel crisis in the area, majority of the respondents were walking long distances to collect firewood, buying firewood expensively, had reduced the number of meals per day and experiencing difficulty in accessing preferred firewood species.

  1. Strategies for mitigating wood fuel crisis in the area would be community education, promotion of wood fuel energy saving stoves, encouraging tree planting for wood fuel and other agro forestry practices.



6.2 Recommendations

From the above conclusions, the following recommendations have been made
  1. There is need to promote community education in order to change people’s attention on wood resources as a means of earning income and protecting the environment.

  1. Population control measures should be strengthened in the area to reduce the birth rate considering the fact that the land resource is static which ever increment in the population encroaches on the remaining forest resources. Besides, community sensitization and environmental campaigns should be stepped up against charcoal burning. This is expected to reduce the rate at which preferred trees are being cut for making charcoal.

  1. Already known improved energy stoves like Lorena should be encouraged in the area as a way of conserving indigenous tree species. Government should make an effort to extend electricity services to the area so that every one may have access to electricity instead of depending on wood fuel alone. Utilization of other alternatives like biogas and solar energy should also be encouraged in such areas so that fewer trees are cut per unit time for wood fuel.

  1. Poverty alleviation programmes should be extended to farmers in the area to provide people with capital to invest in other income generating activities other than just depending on charcoal and other farm activities.

  1. Agro forestry practices should also be promoted so that people who have limited land have trees in their gardens and farms. Tree species with multiple uses that can as well provide firewood would be the ones to promote along side others. Both government and other community based organizations or non-governmental organizations should plan ways to provide free seedlings or at subsidized rate to local people to plant them in their plots.