Rural Fuelwood Exploitation in Mbo Local Government Area – A Nigerian Coastal Settlement
The exploitation of fuelwood among the rural and coastal fishing communities in Nigeria has been an inevitable consequence of human existence. This has been intensified by the inhabitant’s inaccessibility to other sources of energy. The major consequence of this has been the depletion of major forest resource as well as environmental degradation. Through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and empirical surveys, investigations were carried out in eighteen out of sixty rural communities of Mbo LGA of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Several variables of socio economic activities such as occupation, household size, quantity of fuel wood used, level of income and total number employed in fuelwood business were measured and correlated with volumes of fuelwoods production in those settlements. Four hundred adults including men, women and youths involved in fishing, farming, and trading and river transportation were interviewed. The questions centred on fuelwood use,
trade and how it affects the local economy. Result show that 90% of the total local energy requirement is from fuelwood, the average per capita production rate of fuelwood in the local area is 0.38m3 and the average per capita consumption rate is 0.36m3. Major areas of local consumption include domestic energy, fish smoking and canoe making.
Keywords: Exploitation, of, Fuelwood, Rural Fishing Communities Environmental Degradation.