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Published by Dr. Girma Kelboro

Effects of Socio-Economic Status and Food Consumption Pattern on Household Energy uses: Implications for Forest Resource Degradation and Reforestation around Wondo Genet Catchments, South-Central Ethiopia

Past studies on household energy use paid less attention to the effect of
socio-economic status and food consumption pattern on household
energy consumption. The objective of this study was to investigate the
effect of socio-economic status and food consumption on households’
fuel energy consumption, and implications on forest resource depletion.
Household interview and detailed energy consumption measurement
were carried out. Four top end use types – consuming more wood fuel
equivalent energy in their order of importance included:
(food prepared from
Ensete ventricosum
) > bread (Maize) > roasting
grain (
) > local cabbage. The amount of wood equivalent energy
needed per household per year was highest for rich households,
followed by middle and poor households. The majority of rich
households preferred wood and BLT (branch, leaves, twigs) whereas
poor households prioritized BLT and cow dung as major sources of
energy. The forest in the nearby catchments has served as the source of
fuel wood across all wealth categories. Ninety per cent of the wood
collectors, in particular the poor, were also dependent on the forest
catchments as a source of income. The study concluded that household
energy consumption pattern is affected by socio-economic status, type
of food, fuel, stoves, and amount and frequency of baking and cooking.
Hence, these factors should be considered in household energy saving
interventions and in efforts to reduce its impact on forest degradation.
Mesele Negash and Girma Kelboro
Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review
Vol. 30, No. 1