Factors influencing sustainability of the firewood project at Daadab Refugee Camp, Kenya
As the global debate on climate change intensifies, with the call for its coping mechanisms and mitigation measures spreading faster, further, and deeper than ever before, the impact of the Refugees on the environment remains a major challenge, to both the host countries and refugee agencies. Because of their vulnerability, they wholly, solely and exclusively exploit the existing natural resources for their short term context of survival. This in turn led to destruction of forest cover, depletion of water resources and extinction of wildlife species. It is these submissions that this study was carried out with the purpose of investigating the factors influencing sustainability of the firewood project in Dadaab refugee camps, Garissa District, Northeastern Province. With the specific objectives of determining the project's sustainability as influenced by; refugee firewood consumption, alternative source of fuel, socio-cultural attitudes of both the local and refugee communities, and intervention measures used to conserve firewood utilization. Purposive sampling probability was used to select the area of study, while stratified random sampling was used to select 163 respondents from 4 different target groups, such as; Refugee house holds, Resource utilization Monitoring committee CRUMC), Chiefs, and project management team. Questionnaires, interview schedules, literature reviews, and observations were the data collection instruments used for the study. The analysis of the data revealed that, the large sedentary refugee population in Dadaab refugee camps has not only significantly reduced the firewood stock in the harvesting zones, but also stands high chances of causing firewood famine in the near future, subsequently compromising the project's ability of sustainable supply of firewood. However, with increased introduction of alternative source of cooking energy, and promotion intervention measures such as; energy saving devices and energy saving methods, the project shall not only significantly reduce the amount of wood fuel utilized by refugee households, but also contributes significantly towards conservation of the firewood resources in the harvesting zones, thus enhancing its sustainable supply of firewood to the refugee camps.