Assessment of consumer awareness on environmental effects of charcoal production and use in Nairobi city, Kenya
Onekon, Walter A
Kipchirchir, Koech O
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated the awareness of the urban population on the effects of charcoal production and use on the environment. Specifically, the study evaluated the charcoal production techniques in Kenya, identified the different types of cooking stoves used and cooking environments adopted by charcoal users as well as investigated the level of awareness of the population of Nairobi on the effects of charcoal production and use on environmental degradation. Survey research design was used in this study involving the use of semi-structured questionnaire, with a target of 100 respondents (20 large scale charcoal traders and 80 charcoal users) sampled through person-to-person interview, selected using purposive/systematic random sampling technique. Descriptive and inferential statistical data techniques were used to analyze the field data in Microsoft Excel and SPSS (Version 20). The findings of this study revealed traditional charcoal production techniques to be high (100%) among producers supplying Nairobi city. Significant low level (<50%) awareness by charcoal users and traders on the negative effects of charcoal production to the environment was also noted. Most users (93%) do not use energy conserving stoves for their cooking and heating activities. This is a big challenge to the highly predicted forest cover depletion, which is affecting the rooting of a green economy in Kenya. The findings reveal charcoal production as the main energy source, coupled with low awareness on environmental impacts by the producers and users. Biodiversity loss and reduced water cycling was poorly pointed as other environmental effects from deforestation from charcoal. This calls for urgent need on public awareness on energy saving technologies on charcoal production and use, government legislations on charcoal production with focus on reforestation and afforestation to be reinforced nation-wide if Kenya hopes to transition to a sustainable green economy within its vision 2030 agenda. Mechanisms to allow access to green energy sources by the government are also urgently needed to reduce reliance on charcoal. The findings suggest the need for mitigation measures in order to minimize environmental impacts at local, national and global levels from charcoal production and use. The environment and particularly the forest is a major aspect in the drive towards sustainable development and therefore adopting a policy framework that protects the forest from uncontrolled charcoal production and use is imperative.
The following license files are associated with this item: