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Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review

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Effects of Socio-Economic Status and Food Consumption Pattern on Household Energy uses: Implications for Forest Resource Degradation and Deforestation around Wondo Genet Catchments, South-Central Ethiopia

M Negash, G Kelboro

Abstract


Past studies on household energy use paid less attention to the effect of socio-economic status and food consumption pattern on household energy consumption. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of socio-economic status and food consumption on households’ fuel energy consumption, and implications on forest resource depletion. Household interview and detailed energy consumption measurement were carried out. Four top end use types – consuming more wood fuel equivalent energy in their order of importance included: Qocho-bread (food prepared from Ensete ventricosum) > bread (Maize) > roasting grain (Qolo) > local cabbage. The amount of wood equivalent energy needed per household per year was highest for rich households, followed by middle and poor households. The majority of rich households preferred wood and BLT (branch, leaves, twigs) whereas poor households prioritized BLT and cow dung as major sources of energy. The forest in the nearby catchments has served as the source of fuel wood across all wealth categories. Ninety per cent of the wood collectors, in particular the poor, were also dependent on the forest catchments as a source of income. The study concluded that household energy consumption pattern is affected by socio-economic status, type of food, fuel, stoves, and amount and frequency of baking and cooking. Hence, these factors should be considered in household energy saving interventions and in efforts to reduce its impact on forest degradation.

Keywords: Biomass, food type, fuelwood, Qocho




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