Energy Problems in Rural Kenya: An Examination of Causes and Effects of Woodfuel Scarcity in South Imenti, Meru District.

A big percentage of energy used in rural areas is predominantly in the form of wood-fuel. Current Consumption of this form of energy has overrun the availability of resources to sustain supplies, Population growth, change in land use and deforestation are associated with depletion of woodfuel supplies. However, very little is "known about the social arid economic factors as they relate to the current fuelwood scarcity in rural areas.  This study examines the factors that cause woodfuel scarcity in its attempt to provide an understanding of scarcity of woodfuel in rural areas.

Using descriptive and inferential statistics, the study established causes of fuelwood scarcity in South Imenti and how this scarcity has affected people’s ways of life and their environment.  Land use characteristics and unchecked wood energy conversation methods due to lack of aggressive fuelwood energy conservation measures contribute to energy conversion methods due to lack of aggressive fuelwood energy conservation measures contribute to energy scarcity.

This scarcity was found to have effects on people’s life-styles and their environment.  There was a conspicuous change in diet the shift to foods taking less time to cook.  Social change was taking place where more men are getting involved in households energy sector sector.  However, commercialization of fuelwood has been observed to have an emphatic change in rural South Imenti.

Any reversal action must take into consideration this scenario in order to give realistic programme of action.  This study recommends agro-forestry projects and energy conservation measures that are within and agree with rural farm household socio-economic characteristic.

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