Strategies for Sustainable Wood fuel Production in Kenya

Sat, 05/18/2013 - 19:06

Wood energy provides 70% of Kenya’s national energy needs and it is expected to continue as the country’s main source of energy for the foreseeable future. Wood is the standard cooking fuel for the majority of Kenyan households and also an important energy source for small-scale rural industries. Past studies on supply demand balance of woodfuel have shown a deficit. To address this deficit there is need for a comprehensive wood energy plan with implementation strategies which ensure its sustainable production. This paper outlines some of the strategies that need to be put in place for a sustainable woodfuel production. The strategies are both supply and demand oriented which are aimed at either increasing the supply or reducing the demand. The supply strategies include; enhancing on-farm tree planting, efficient management of rangelands and woodlands, development of fuelwood plantations by Kenya Forest Service. The demand oriented strategies include ; reducing demand through promotion of more efficient cooking stoves and charcoal conversion kilns, use of alternative sources of energy other than wood. Other strategies include formulation of woodfuel policies that enhances decentralized sustainable wood energy planning at all levels. The later can only be achieved if the wood energy institutional framework is strengthened and facilitated to collect wood energy data to be used in national energy planning alongside the conventional fuels that are currently given more emphasis. The decentralized wood energy planning is important as the strategies to be used for sustainable woodfuel production may vary from one region to the other

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