The impact of Households Fuel Wood Energy Consumption to Forest Resources: A Case Study Ruangwa District


  • Z. J. Mchitika


Household fuel wood energy dependency, household poverty, excessive tree cutting for wood, forest management


The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effects of household fuel wood energy dependency on village trees in Ruangwa District. The study's specific goals  were  to  identify  energy  sources  in  Ruangwa  District,  investigate  the consequences of home energy dependency on trees in rural areas, and evaluate strategies to alleviate the effects of household energy dependency on forests. The study used a case study in southern Tanzania to examine the effects of household fuel wood energy dependency on forest resources. The study sample constituted 96 local forest resource stakeholders. Purposive and non-probability sampling techniques were employed in data collection.  Both   quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used. Closed and open-ended questionnaires were used to collect both primary and secondary data including relevant documents related to village forest resource production, sales patterns, and resource control. The study established that, charcoal and firewood were the primary sources of cooking energy. Also, lack of knowledge and household poverty had a significant impact on forest management and control. The study concluded that, poverty was the primary factor driving household reliance on charcoal and firewood compounded  by forest management  authorities restricting local communities from  extracting  essential  forest  products;  and  lack  of  education  on  the importance of conserving trees in the local environment. Recommended that, local  communities  should  be  educated  on  the  negative  fuel  wood  human activities to the environment specifically excessive tree cutting for fuel wood energy. Besides, villages around forest resources and forest management on authority should jointly draw regulations and supervision mechanisms sustainable use of forest resources and products.

Author Biography

Z. J. Mchitika

Department of Geography, The Open University of Tanzania