Over 2.6 billion people of the world’s population prepare their food and heat their homes with biomass fuel mainly woodfuel. Wood fuel is used as a major source of energy without a replacement plan and is partly the cause of deforestation. Among the interventions identified as crucial to slowing down deforestation include promoting alternative sources of energy and using efficient stoves to reduce pressure on forest resources. This study examined wood fuel utilization and efficiency of cooking stoves among the rural population of Likia location, Njoro Sub County. A survey was conducted through a questionnaire administered to respondents from the study area. An experiment using the Water Boiling Test with Split Plot in Randomized Complete Block Experimental Design was used to study the heat gain and efficiencies of the stoves. The heating stoves were the sub plot factor and the sources of energy, the main plot factor. The study variables included temperature changes with time, heat gained during cooking and the efficiencies of the stoves. The mean heat gains and mean efficiencies were treated to ANOVA at 95% confidence level. Correlation analysis was used to study the effect of time on temperature change during cooking. Ninety percent of the respondents used woodfuel for cooking, while the three stone stove was used by 71% of the respondents. There was an acute wood fuel shortage that put pressure on the adjacent Mau forest. The highest mean heat gain was 288.9kJ ± SD 0.00 with the Olea africana/ceramic stove while the lowest mean heat gain was 58.6kJ ± SD 0.00 with the waste paper briquettes/wood ceramic stove and the corresponding mean efficiencies were 69% ± SD 0.00 and 14%± SD 0.00 respectively. Not all cooking stoves/woodfuel combinations were able to boil one litre of water within ten minutes. There was significant correlation between the cooking time and temperature changes at 95% confidence level. The LSD, found significant differences in mean heat gained due to the woodfuel used but not due to all the stoves used. There were significant differences in the mean efficiencies of the cooking stoves due to the fuel type, the stoves and interaction between the fuel and the stoves. The study recommends the promotion of on-farm forestry for woodfuel and timber production and creating awareness about the key ecological services provided by forest ecosystems. The promotion of improved energy saving stoves, the improvement of biomass briquette burning properties, the possibility of a subsidy provision for the people to enable their acquisition of alternative sources of energy such as solar energy panels is also recommended. These results are expected to promote sustainability in the wood fuel use and contribute to the slowing down of deforestation of the adjacent Mau Forest.

Summary of the Chapter
This chapter covers an introduction to the study and the study area. It also covers the importance of the wood fuel resource and the need for its conservaton . The objectives hypotheses and the justification for this study are also covered. Woodfuel utilization was covered by questionaire and three hypotheses tested through an experiment .

Background to the Study
Forests cover thirty percent of the earth’s total area (UNEP, 2007), with total forested area under 4 billion hectares in 2005. On the global average, more than one-third of all forests are considered primary forests, defined as forests where there are no clear visible indications of human activity and where ecological processes are not significantly disturbed. Forests and woodlands in Africa occupy an estimated 650 million hectares, accounting for 16.8% of global forest cover (Hogan, 2007). Many of the African forests are severely fragmented due to encroachment of an increasing human population leading to an increasing demand for woodfuel and extensive conversion of land to agricultural use (UNEP, 2002). In East Africa, forest cover has dropped by 9.3% between 2001 and 2009. Large areas of evergreen forest have been lost resulting in carbon emissions, reduced habitat for forest dependent biodiversity and reduced availability of essential ecosystem services, (Burgess et al., 2012). In Kenya, forest resources are of immense importance for the environmental and ecosystem services they provide, for their contribution to economic development and their contribution to rural livelihoods (Kinyanjui & Walubengo, 2010). Six million hectares of primary forests are lost every year globally due to deforestation and modification through selective logging and other human interventions, among which are wood fuel needs especially in developing countries.

Wood fuel originates from a wide range of forestry and agricultural land-use systems, including agricultural plantations, agroforestry, trees outside forests, tree plantations, secondary and primary forests. It is either produced as a by-product of sustainable timber production or as a forest management objective in itself (Sepp et al., 2014). Wood fuel is used by 75% of the population of the developing world accounting for 34% of total energy consumption (FRA, 2010). In Kenya, it is estimated that about 80% of the population lives in the rural areas characterized by limited access to affordable and convenient energy sources (ROK, 2003; Muchiri, 2008; Mbuthi, 2009) which is argued to be amongst the greatest impediments to social and economic development of the rural populations. Other energy sources are electricity, which is too expensive; liquefied petroleum gas whose appliances are too expensive; kerosene, mainly used for lighting but proves relatively expensive when used for cooking (ROK, 2003).

Harvesting of wood as fuel is associated with increasing levels of deforestation (UNEP, 2007; Muchiri, 2008; Gathui & Mugo, 2010; FAO, 2014). The declining supplies lead to further loss of vegetation cover, deterioration of environmental stability, diversion of agricultural residues from agricultural use and increased expenditure of time and effort on wood fuel gathering (Labelle et al., 1988; UNEP, 2007; Gathui & Mugo, 2010; Sepp et al., 2014). The Kenya government biomass policy objective seeks to ensure sufficient biomass supplies to meet demand on a sustainable basis while minimizing associated negative environmental impacts (Mbuthi, 2009). Efforts to address the wood fuel problem have included the promotion of “improved” cook stoves. The ceramic stove, the wood ceramic stove and the open fire stoves are commonly used (Kammen, 1993).

Likia location in Njoro Sub county lies within the Eastern Mau. Wood fuel is the most common form of energy used and the adjacent Likia Forest is the most reliable source of wood fuel available for the residents of Likia. Due to the need for sustainability in wood fuel use, this study assessed the wood fuel utilization patterns and the efficiency of heating/cooking stoves used in the study area.

Statement of the Problem
The residents of Likia location depend on woodfuel as a major source of energy for cooking. The high population growth rate and the increased demand for woodfuel have led to rising levels of vegetation depletion with the potential to escalate the degradation of land. The current wood fuel consumption levels coupled with the indifference of the second generation of settlers to plant trees on their farms has precipitated a wood fuel crisis. Serious deforestation and degradation of land continues to occur as the communities turn to the forest to meet their needs of wood fuel and an income from sales of wood products. Other sources of energy are either beyond the means of this rural population or are totally unavailable. There is absence of documentation of information on the efficiencies of woodfuel stoves used in Likia location compared with the performance of modern improved stoves. It was therefore necessary to initiate the sustainable exploitation of wood fuel as a source of energy, through the assessment of the efficiency of the available wood fuel stoves and the wood fuel utilization of the population of Likia location.

Broad Objectives
An Assessment of the woodfuel utilization and efficiency of cooking stoves to enhance the sustainable utilization of the woodfuel resource and contribute to reduced deforestation of the Mau Forest and to sustainable environmental management.

Specific Objectives
The specific objectives of the research were to;

i) Assess the wood fuel utilization in the study area.

ii) Evaluate the amount of energy dispersed per stove by the commonly used fuel sources.

iii) Measure the time and energy requirement per cooking stove to heat 1 litre of water.

iv) Assess the efficiency of the stoves used.

Research Questions
Specific objective no 1 was covered by the questionnaire. The specific objective was to access woodfuel utilization in Likia. The research questions were

i) What were the forms of fuel used for cooking?

ii) What was the mode of woodfuel acquisition?

iii) Which were the types of cooking stoves used?

iv) Which were the most preferred woodfuel tree species?

Ho1: There is no significant difference in mean heat gained values. Ho1: µ1 = µ2 = µ3= µ4

The hypothesis addressed specific objective ii.

Ho : There is no significant correlation between the mean wood fuel burning time and temperature change. Ho : þ = 0

The hypothesis addressed specific objective iii

Ho : There is no significant difference in mean efficiency values for stoves.

Ho : µ1 = µ2 = µ3= µ4 3

The hypothesis addressed specific objective iv

In Kenya, biomass is the largest form of primary energy consumed, accounting for 68% of the total national primary energy supply (Muchiri, 2008; Mbuthi, 2009). The principal drivers of biomass energy demand are population growth, lack of access to biomass energy substitutes and the growing incidence of poverty among Kenyans. Thus the biomass energy demand stood at 34 million tons compared to an estimated sustainable supply of 15 million tons creating a biomass energy supply and demand imbalance (ROK, 2003). This severe imbalance between supply and demand was also noted by (Mbuthi, 2009) stating that against the background of increasing wood fuel supply deficits, there was need for a strategy to ensure a sustainable supply to meet the demand as well as maintain ecological balance. According to The Kenya Forestry Working Group (2001) and Kabiru (2005), the Mau Forest Complex had decreased in area by approximately 10% between 1964 and 2000, and that the Mau Complex Belt within which Likia location of Mau Nark Ward in Njoro Sub County lies was the largest remaining forest in East Africa that forms the upper catchment of most of the rivers west of the Rift Valley.

This study thus evaluated the thermal efficiency of the cooking stoves in Likia alongside the commonly used fuel type as a contribution to information on the evaluation of stove performance. The study aims at easing the pressure on forest resources and promote sustainability in resource use. Institutions concerned with conservation of natural resources such as the Kenya Forest Service, Kenya wildlife Service are likely to have their conservation mandates enhanced by the prudent use of the woodfuel resource through the use of fuel efficient stoves. CFA’s are expected to play a major role in the advocacy of the use of improved cooking stoves therefore reducing pressure on the Mau Forest as a source of woodfuel. This study also aims at alerting policy makers on the need to preserve environmental stability for sustainability in production activities such as agriculture that are important sectors of Kenya’s economy Since the extraction of biomass energy is associated with increasing levels of deforestation and its associated environmental degradation, the study of wood fuel utilization and the efficiency of cooking stoves used in Likia location ( the study area) was one of the intervention measures that aimed at addressing the wood fuel shortage crisis while enhancing environmental sustainability.

Scope and Limitations
The study focused on Likia location Njoro Sub county Nakuru County. The study covered wood fuel utilization and assessment of the efficiency of only the cooking stoves used in the area. The wood fuel used in the area was also studied including both charcoal and fuel wood. The Olea africana fuel wood and charcoal where chosen as a commonly favoured and indigenous species of the area. In this study the Water Boiling Test was used to test the efficiency of the stoves. The stoves were also tested to ascertain whether they could achieve a specific cooking task within a given time period (boil one litre of water within ten minutes)

Local Boiling Temperature: The boiling point of water decreases by approximately 1oC for every increase of 1000 feet in altitude (Earl, 1990; Ekkapat & Jigme, 2008). The local boiling point for Likia as determined and used in this study was 910C.

Terrain: The terrain of Likia is such that there are many hills. Covering the terrain was a challenge. This was overcome by beginning the exercise very early at 7a.m setting time for work break during the questionnaire administration.

Language barriers: Due to the different ethnic groups in the area it was necessary to engage assistants who could communicate in local languages.

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 85 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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