Using efficient methods to manage trees is the key

Women carrying loads of firewood cross the busy highway. Firewood is the main source of cooking fuel while in urban areas it is charcoal. Woodfuel, as they are known, is a major components of the energy mix in Kenya. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Woodfuel releases carbon fumes into the air, adding to the carbon footprint and global warming. This has resulted in global climatic change, which is also being witnessed in Kenya in the form of higher temperatures, prolonged droughts and dry spells.
  • Though new to the local market, ethanol has gained wide use in Mozambique because it is clean and efficient, comparable to LPG. CleanStar Ventures has conducted market research primarily in urban households that confirms the convenience and safety of ethanol.
  • The Kenya Forestry Service (KFS), the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (Kefri), and ICRAF, among others, are working with farmers on managing trees for woodfuel. They promote the harvesting of mature stems, growing of acacia trees for charcoal and managing trees in drylands.

In most rural areas, firewood is the main source of cooking fuel while in urban areas it is charcoal. Woodfuel, as they are known, is a major components of the energy mix in Kenya. It is estimated that more than 80 per cent of urban households use charcoal while more than 90 per cent of rural households use firewood for cooking and heating (Ministry of Energy, 2002).

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