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About this book

Although urbanization steadily increases, many modern cities are finding the accommodation of their populations an increasingly difficult task. Planners and policy-makers battling to alleviate the problem with a host of urban renewal initiatives have made environmental issues and policies central The negative environmental impacts of energy use, particularly soil and water pollution, continue to present serious policy dilemmas.

The release of emissions and effluents and the build-up of solid waste throughout the fuel cycle have disruptive effects on natural habitats and human health. Andrew Millington, John Townsend October 19, But for sensible policy and planning, clear information about the extent of resources is needed. This innovative study combines the results of field assessment of biomass with advanced techniques in remote sensing by Gerald Leach, Robin Mearns October 19, People scratching a living from parched land, women walking miles for scraps of firewood are both familiar images of Africa.

But, in many places, people, with the help of governments and aid agencies, are putting the land into good shape, growing more food and creating a healthy cover of trees. In most countries, transport policy is a major government concern, yet it is rare for decisions to be made outside a narrow For too long, cities have been thought of as environmental blackspots, with high levels of air and soil pollution, overcrowding, poor sanitation and growing waste disposal problems.

This book takes a more positive attitude: cities can be made to work sustainably. Their high population density can The issue of 'sustainability' in the developed world is nowhere more critical than in the field of personal travel, which in many countries has become the fastest-growing contributor to global warming.

Unless the use of cars can be brought under control, there is little chance of meeting government Every day throughout Britain, by road, by rail and by sea, there are large numbers of routine movements of radioactive cargo. Materials at all stages of the nuclear cycle, from uranium ore to nuclear waste, from nuclear warheads to radioactive isotopes used in medicine, are constantly on the move. In , energy in the UK underwent a unique and fundamental transformation, with the privatization of the electricity supply industry.

This is the first book to fully assess the experiment. It then Stay on CRCPress. Per Page. Include Forthcoming Titles. Energy Policy in the Greenhouse: From warming fate to warming limit 1st Edition. Sustainable Cities in Europe 1st Edition. High fertility rates and a high percentage of child-bearing women are contributing to the high population growth rates. The issue at stake here is the distribution of the population and its influence on the existing resources of the region.

11 Series Titles

Urbanization rates are even higher 5. The upsurge of population growth has short- and long-term consequences for the existing forest resource base, land use, and fuelwood production. The economic crisis, with its concomitant high rates of unemployment and very low incomes, has encouraged the use of fuelwood in most African cities fig. These urban centres have become, as it were, a lucrative market for fuelwood because it seems to be relatively available and cheaper than modern fuels, which hitherto have not proved a viable alternative in either rural or urban areas. With growing population pressure on land use, a fuelwood gap is created, putting more pressure on the producing rural areas.

Ultimately it is not only the sustainability of the environment that is at stake but the very survival of the urban poor and rural people, with women being the worst victims. Though the countries of SSA may have divergent political systems and cultures, in broad terms they seem to have a common feature in so far as energy is concerned. They are literally being squeezed in a common energy problem. On the one hand, there is a heavy reliance on imported petroleum for the commercial sector, making petroleum shortages a chronic problem.


On the other hand, there is a growing shortage of fuelwood in the predominant traditional sector and acute scarcity in some subregions. The fuelwood crisis, as the "other energy crisis" is called, began to emerge during the oil crisis of the s and has been aggravated by agricultural policies that aim at making African countries selfsufficient in food production Eckholm et al. This has been achieved at the expense of existing forest lands, which are the main sources for fuelwood.

National programmes tend to overlook this relationship between food and forest, so that the focus has been either wood or forest. This implies that wood energy is not being exploited in a manner that is sustainable in African countries. It appears that a more acceptable means for safe and sustainable energy production is yet to be found. Before this can be achieved, a good understanding of the African energy situation needs to be established as a basis for formulating a sustainable energy agenda.

Gerald Leach

The measures needed to develop energy resources to ensure that rural interests can be served are also not well known. Gamser claims that there is not sufficient empirical understanding of the ecologically diverse lands involved in the tropical forest energy crisis. Neither have forest surveys provided adequate data on the dynamics of forest energy.

He therefore calls for a concerted effort on the part of the international community to react positively to the shortfall in the existing data on forest energy production and consumption. At the moment most wood energy statistics, including those of the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO , are based on estimates or unofficial sources, and this has been rather a weakness as regards knowledge about traditional energy.

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However, studies undertaken since the s reveal the vulnerability of African countries so far as energy resources are concerned. Although Africa accounts for 12 per cent of the global population, it consumes only 4 per cent of global energy.

Protecting the environment and women in Darfur through fuel-efficient stoves

Besides, 40 per cent of its energy consumption is mainly in the form of biomass and it consumes no less than 40 per cent of this resource. On the global scale, the proportion of biomass in its total energy consumption is 6 per cent see tables The rate of consumption varies within Africa when compared with other continents. In the Republic of South Africa, for example, out of the annual per capita consumption of 95GJ, only 5 per cent is biomass; in North Africa it is 11 per cent out of 34GJ. In the subregions of Africa the fuelwood situation may be determined by the political economy, the ecology, the geography, the demography, and the culture.

The energy potential is expressed in the abundance Table Primary energy equivalent. Table Within Sub-Sabaran Africa only five countries account for almost all the oil produced - Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, Congo, and the Central African Republic in descending order of output in The greater proportion is exported outside the region, even though petroleum is needed internally. Nigeria alone accounts for about three-quarters of the OPEC oil regulated quotas. On the whole, the total petroleum consumed is below 25 per cent of the total production figs. Natural gas reserves on the continent are enormous and it is observed that the current reserves outweigh petroleum reserves if the current rate of production is taken into consideration.

Coal reserves, which are more concentrated in the south, are expected to last for about years. The growth rate of coal production has been slow, partly owing to greater reliance on petroleum for energy and to infrastructural and environmental problems. Unlike coal, hydropower production is more widespread and has been increasing. It grew nearly four-fold between and Even at this growth rate, only 4 per cent of this power potential is exploited.

Initial investment in production, environmental concerns, as well as old equipment and recurrent drought, have contributed to slowing down the growth of this power sector. Geothermal energy is utilized mainly in East Africa, and the possibility of its development needs to be explored for use elsewhere in SSA. The same goes for the production and supply of renewable energy sources. In these circumstances, wood fuels have become the predominant source of energy in the region.

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Problems of the energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa Before the oil crisis in the s, consumption of petroleum and its related products increased because oil was cheap and considered an infinite resource. The advanced industrialized countries developed a consumption infrastructure in the industrial and transport sectors.


This meant that demand for petroleum was relatively inelastic. SubSaharan Africa unfortunately developed along these same lines, making it more vulnerable in the oil crisis. The establishment of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC , which includes African countries such as Gabon, Nigeria, and Angola, was in response to the inelastic consumption pattern set up by the West in an effort to restrict oil output and to raise prices.

Considering the high industrial development and the financial resources available, the West made attempts to move away from petroleum to alternative fuels. Such a move has not been possible in the non-oil-producing countries of Africa, where oil consumption in the energy balance is small and imports very high. For instance, Ghana spends 13 per cent of its foreign exchange on petroleum imports, but this rises to over 20 per cent in Tanzania and Kenya, and more than 40 per cent in Mozambique. As O'Keefe remarks, even the recent fall in oil prices may be unlikely to ease the various rationing systems that operate in most non-oil-producing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Because the rural and urban poor cannot afford high-priced petroleum products they have to depend on fuelwood in the various socioeconomic sectors. We therefore find in Sub-Saharan Africa a "paradox" of the wood-fuel situation: a situation of abundant wood-fuel resources in some countries and an acute shortage in certain areas as found in countries such as Ghana and Angola.

In , the FAO undertook a global survey in order to determine fuelwood supplies and demand for them in developing countries such as Africa in and the year Because there was a paucity of source material, the data were based on projections from the early s, but the results present a reasonable picture of the status of fuelwood in Africa. Four major categories of the fuelwood situation were identified: 1. Areas where there has been overexploitation of biomass to the extent that there is fuelwood shortage. Areas where fuelwood demand is in excess of sustainable supply -referred to as "crisis regions.

Areas where population growth is likely to give rise to crisis in the foreseeable future - categorized as satisfactory. In this regard the situation in the Sudano-Sahelian region is critical because acute shortages are expected, especially in the rapidly growing periurban areas.

This is occurring because of increasing encroachment of agricultural land, and industrial, residential, and commercial developments. Bushfires and fuelwood production compounded by population expansion have also resulted in gradual depletion of wood-fuel resources on an annual basis. Areas estimated to be generally free of fuelwood supply problems - the humid and semi-humid areas.

Nevertheless, large urban centres such as Yaounde, Brazzaville, and Kinshasa located within the forest ecosystems are already experiencing local shortages. This is also occurring in the semi-humid areas of East Africa wherever very high population densities threaten wood-fuel resources. Communal land reserves are particularly in danger of fuelwood depletion. Having an area of 3, km2, which constitutes only 0. As one of the most populous regions of the country, its population densities are over persons per km2 in localized areas. This has generated a mosaic of small fragmented farms of about 0.

Consequently, considerable pressure has been put on the limited land to the extent that agriculture and fuel needs are severely threatened. Farmers have no viable alternatives other than to depend on their own tiny land-holding for fuelwood supplies. Similarly, a fuelwood deficit is to be found in the small mountainous SADCC countries, where population pressure has created acute wood-fuel shortages in countries such as Malawi and Swaziland.

The situation in island countries such as Madagascar is also critical, particularly in the central and western sections. The dynamics of the fuelwood situation represent a growing crisis. Whereas, in , 55 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lived in areas where there was acute fuelwood scarcity and another million lived in areas with an increasing deficit, it is estimated that by the year about million people will experience a critical fuelwood deficit if exploitation continues at the current rate United Nations Wood-fuel exploitation is not solely responsible for environmental degradation.

In the forest areas of SSA, deforestation is caused to a large extent by logging and forest clearance for cultivation. Many trees are also lost as fallow periods are shortened. Generally, areas with a high rate of tree regrowth can meet the needs of a larger population than those with low growth potential. Areas with woodfuel deficits are those with low to moderate rainfall and high population densities. In areas such as the Sahel where there is very low population density and low rainfall, the demand for wood fuels has outstripped the slow growth potential of the woody plants, creating acute fuelwood problems in urban and rural areas.

Energy in rural Africa Rural energy use in Africa is generally low, reflecting the low industrial and urban base of the African economy. The more rural and the lower the incomes of the community, the more use they make of traditional fuels.

Relations of power driving tropical deforestation: a case study from the Mau Forest (Kenya)

Cooking, heating, and local industrial establishments are major consumers of household energy, which is dominated by wood fuels FRIDA On present trends it is unlikely that fuel switching will occur in the near future on a large scale. As the population expands one would expect a direct increase in fuelwood utilization. This being the case, a "wood-fuel paradox" can be observed in operation at both local and national levels. In many African countries there is adequate forest stock for wood-fuel production. Within this apparent situation of plenty, however, specific localized wood-fuel shortages exist in western Kenya, northern Ghana, Angola, Zambia, and the Sudan.

Arid and semi-arid areas have their share of scarcity just like the large deforested areas in Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. The low carrying capacity of these countries means that growth is not sustainable for either agriculture or wood fuels. For example, in Zimbabwe, Chad, and Mali, advanced deforestation and soil erosion in infertile areas with poor rainfall have forced many people to migrate.

Deforestation is affecting many rural people, who have been accused of being the cause of deforestation. More often these people produce fuelwood from their own food farms, secondary forests, or fallow lands. Where trees are cleared from agricultural land, they are readily used as fuelwood. Deforestation is caused primarily by the need for fuelwood for the curing of tobacco and tea, by excessive felling of timber for domestic and export markets, by agricultural production, by urbanization, by bushfires, and, more significantly, by demand for wood fuel by urban households.

Urban fuel demand Patterns of household energy use in urban areas are far more complex than in rural areas. As rural-urban migration opens up more avenues for the poor, it also brings about various problems with limited opportunities. Catering for the fuel needs of the poor is just one of the essential services that poor migrants have to provide in the urban area. These are services that would have been free if they were in the rural areas. As most towns in SSA are growing rapidly, urban growth is paralleled by increasing demand for energy to meet consumption needs.

This is met by wood fuels. Hence it is estimated that, if the current rates of population growth continue, urban wood-fuel consumption will surpass that of rural areas in the next 20 years or so O'Keefe The significance of fuelwood in the urban energy balance is the limited access to alternative fuels. Fuelwood competes with other household fuels such as kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas LPG , and electricity. The choice of fuelwood depends among other things on its cost relative to commercial alternatives, their availability and security, and supply bottlenecks.

Study area

These encourage a lucrative black market in which prices are much higher than the official stated prices. The prohibitive costs tend to increase the reliance of poor women on fuelwood even if it is scarce and expensive. Besides, there is also the cost of modern cooking stoves, which is not affordable to many households that may want to switch fuels. The available evidence indicates that urban fuelwood prices have been rapidly increasing, causing a household dilemma for poor women. In urban centres in poorer environments fuelwood prices are almost comparable to those of modern fuels.

According to Leach and Mearns , African cities such as Addis Ababa, Harare, Nairobi, and Abidjan are experiencing fuelwood price rises in excess of general inflation rates. Thus fuelwood prices in many large cities are increasing in real terms. Urban demand for fuelwood is accelerating the degradation of woody vegetation. For example, in the Sudan an area of 31, km2 of woodland is cleared each year for fuelwood production, especially for charcoal.

In certain areas the resulting scarcity has created a disastrous effect on supplies. For example, in Burkina Faso the land surrounding the city of Ouagadougou has been completely cleared of woody vegetation for 45 km in all directions French As a result, bulky and low-value wood fuels are transported over hundreds of kilometres to urban markets where the fuels are badly needed. Similarly in East Africa, charcoal has to be transported for about km to Nairobi and its environs. In Nigeria, the long-distance haulage of fuelwood to urban centres has been an official concern since early colonial times Cline-Cole As more land around the towns and cities is further depleted of its remaining vegetation, a vicious cycle of soil erosion is set in motion.

In extreme cases, wood fuels gradually vanish from the urban market, as in the Cape Verde islands. Judicious urban energy planning may minimize the degradation and improve the access of women and the urban poor to other energy alternatives. The socio-economic implications of the fuelwood crisis Generally, the economic and social consequences of fuelwood exploitation and consumption are overlooked.

In Ghana, for example, cooking in the home depends on fuelwood, which is responsible for more than 75 per cent of all energy consumed in the country annually. Most small-scale industries and food-processing enterprises that women undertake depend in large part on wood fuel. This dependence on wood fuels has contributed to the growing exploitation of the country's forest. In all, about , ha of forest are destroyed every year through the carbonization of charcoal. Alarmingly, between and wood-fuel consumption increased by 50 per cent in the country Ardayfio-Schandorf This increase mainly reflects the urban demand previously discussed.

Urban demand has, as it were, created fuelwood markets, providing job opportunities for both men and women. Men are involved in the long-distance trade in fuelwood and charcoal, and women are in small-scale fuelwood businesses focused on villages and local markets. Charcoal production is undertaken by women in towns and villages, where they run family businesses more actively during the off farming season. Though inefficient, wood-fuel production and distribution contribute to some extent to the national balance of payments at the macro level, as foreign exchange that might have been used for the purchase of imported fuels is saved through the use of traditional fuels.

This notwithstanding, poor urban women have to pay higher prices for fuelwood and charcoal owing to commercialization. In the rural areas, women and children walk long distances to produce, harvest, and transport fuelwood to their households. However, in areas where forest resources are abundant the production of fuelwood is less problematic. In areas of high population density, women spend longer hours producing fuelwood.

In such areas, women collect fuelwood on their return from the farm while they do other things as well Ardayfio-Schandorf Similarly, in the semi-arid, arid, or savanna areas with low population density where wood-fuel resources are scarce, women have to walk for longer distances to produce fuelwood. Where these problems exist, a bigger burden is put on women, who have to make some trade-offs. Women curtail cooking time and even cut down on economic enterprises to make time for fuelwood production.

The production time varies from one region to another, with walking distances ranging from about 1 to about 10 km and even more in places such as Ethiopia. The distance covered is reflected in the cost of fuelwood.