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Majority of rural dwellers in Nigeria today depend on fuelwood as their main source of energy for cooking and heating. The rate of consumption of fuelwood and its impact on the environment especially in rural areas has attracted much interest recently than ever before. This study examines the sources and pattern, volume and duration, economic implications and environmental problems associated with fuelwood consumption among residents of Kakau Daje village, Chikun local government area of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Primary data obtained in a cross-section survey of 3 78 households selected across the 28 settlements of the area was used in estimating the source region of fuelwood, quantity of fuelwood consumed per household, cost spent and problems associated with fuelwood consumption. Data were analyzed through the use of descriptive tools such as tables. Key findings are that 79.4% of the respondents engaged in farming activities, who earn between Nl,000-N]0,000 monthly. The wood used by 28.0% of respondents came from either individual’s farmlands or communal lands. Results also show that 89.4% use fuelwood as their primary fuel type and is used daily as there’s little alternative. ‘Availability and ajfordability are the main factors surrounding the dependence and heavy use of fuelwood in the area. The study concludes and recommends that the impact of fuelwood consumption is becoming increasingly glaring and cannot be overlooked for long and rapid eflorts should be employed in providing alternative cheap and accessible type of fuel/energy for rural use.



1.0 Background To The Study

Energy in the layman’s language is sometimes synonymous with strength or force, or better still fuels. In technical terms, energy is that thing that can be used to produce work. Energy sources can be classified as renewable or non-renewable forms. Renewable forms include fuel, wood, solar energy, biogas and crop residue, while non-renewable forms are mainly petroleum products such as kerosene, petrol, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and coal (Ajani, 1996). Energy has also been described as a face multiplier that enhances man’s ability to convert raw materials into useful products, providing varieties of useful services (Sorensen, 1983). Energy is a basic requirement in human life. As Alam (2006) puts it, energy is the indispensable force driving all economic activities. In other words, the greater the energy consumption, the more the economic activity in the nation and as a result a greater economy emerges. Energy is vital for human life and technological advancement.

Fuelwood comprises of wood and wood pulp materials obtained from trunks, branches, and other parts of trees and shrubs used as fuel for cooking, heating or generating energy through direct combustion. It was noted that among all tree products, fuelwood is the mostly used in Nigeria (Ezema, 2001 and Ebe, 2006). According to Trossero (2004), in developing countries wood-based fuels remain the dominant source of energy for over 2 billion poor people. In these countries, woodfuels not only are vital to the nutrition of rural and urban households, but are also ofien essential in food processing industries for baking, brewing, smoking, curing, and electricity production. Rural areas especially in developing countries mostly rely on the forest for various food products and fuelwood, both for own consumption and for sales to urban areas. Chukwu (2000) observed that over 70 percent of the total population of Nigeria relies on fuelwood or charcoal as their major source of energy for cooking and heating purposes. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) publication (Onyema, n.d) indicated that about 50 percent of Nigeria’s total energy consumed for agriculture and other domestic food processing activities came from fuelwood. It therefore becomes necessary to examine the fuelwood consumption and its effect among residents of Kakau Daje village.

1.1  The Research Problem

Energy is one of the basic and most critical economic, environmental and developmental issues facing the world today. Clean, efficient, affordable and reliable energy services are indispensable for global prosperity (Olatinwo and Adewumi, 2012). The demand for energy today is far greater than ever in our highly technological world. It is a well-known fact that high rate of industrial growth of any country is a function of the amount of energy available in that country and the extent to which this energy is utilized (Chukuezi, 2009). However, there are more than 2 billion people who are unable to obtain clear, safe fuels and most rely on burning traditional biomass such as wood, dung, and crop residues (UNDP, 2000). Without access to efficient and affordable energy sources, they have limited Opportunities for economic and social advancement. Most of these people reside in the rural areas of the developing countries. The majority (nearly 70 percent) of Africa’s population live in rural areas, particularly in sub-saharan Africa where rural poverty is great and increasing and is accompanied by chronic hunger, malnutrition and disease (IFAD, 2002). Nigeria is an energy resource rich country blessed with fossil resource such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and renewable energy resources like solar, wind and biogas (Okoro et al., 2007). According to Olatinwo and Adewumi (2012), Nigeria’s ever-growing population and growth in the household sub-sector has further resulted in increased demand on its energy sub-sector. Wood, dung and crop residues serve as the primary fuel sources in Nigeria’s rural areas. The utilization of renewable energy sources in Nigeria remains quite limited. The use of solid biomass such as firewood is prevalent and constitutes a major energy source for most rural dwellers in Nigeria, unfortunately, as its continuous usage leads to degradation (Manafa, 1995). According to Nabina et al, (2007), 87 percent of rural households are primarily dependent on biomass as their source of energy with about 90 percent of the total annual round wood products serve as fuelwood and 60 percent of this total is used for household consumption. The rural populaces do not have access to sustainable energy and therefore depend on biomass which include twigs, branches, animal residues, crop residues, fuelwood, charcoal, wood shavings and sawdust. This has therefore created a huge shortage in the supply of fuelwood that might be needed for other industrial and commercial purposes. These fuelwood supply and demand imbalances now constitute a real threat to the energy and livelihood security of many rural communities. Indeed, many states are experiencing period of rapid urban population growth with a parallel rise in fuelwood consumption in which Kaduna State is inclusive. It has never gotten any better in rural areas especially among residents of Kakau Daje settlement in Chikun Local Govemment Area. It is little surprising that the study of consumption rate of fuelwood even though important has received comparatively little attention in the past. This gap is to be filled by this study.

1.2  The need to address these problems prompts the following questions;

a. What are the sources of fuelwood?

b. What quantity of fuelwood is consumed per household?

c. What is the cost spent per household on fuelwood?

d. What are the effects of fuelwood consumption on Kakau Daje residents income and expenditure?

1.3  1.2. Aim and Objectives Aim

The aim of this research is to examine the rate of fuelwood consumption and its effect on environmental degradation among Kakau Daje residents.

1.2.2 Objectives

The specific goals of this research are to;

i. Identify the sources of fuelwood and pattern of fuelwood sourcing.

ii. Examine the volume and duration of fuelwood utilization.

iii. Examine the cost and economic implications of fuelwood consumption in the area. ‘

IV. Assess the environmental problems associated with the fuelwood consumption.

1.4  1.3 Scope of Study

1.4The study covers Kakau Daje community which is located in Kakau district of Chikun Local Govemment Area in the southern part of Nigerian State of Kaduna. The community is comprised of 28 settlements with an estimated population of 7,000 residents. The scope of this study surrounds the 28 settlements of Kakau Daje community and their various level of fuelwood consumption.


1.5  1.4 Justification of the Study

1.5In Nigeria, fuelwood has long been recognised as essential components of energy in meeting basic human needs in stimulating and supporting economic growth and enhancing the ability of man in human settlements. This work therefore seeks to contribute to the existent knowledge by highlighting the impacts of fuelwood on both the economic, social, and health issues of man and also to provide a better framework on improving environmental stability and reduction in environmental degradation.


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