Socio-Economic Determinants of Household Continued Use of Solid Biofuels (Fuelwood and Charcoal) for Cooking Purposes in Sub-Saharan Africa- Kenya’s Situation
Solid biofuels (fuelwood and charcoal) remain the primary source of household cooking energy in Kenya. This has negatively impacted forest resources, people’s health, local climate patterns, and the country’s economy. Understanding the determinants of household use of these traditional energy resources is useful in the designing of policies and strategies aimed at facilitating energy transitions towards clean options. The current study evaluated the role of socio-economic factors in the determination of household use of fuelwood and charcoal for cooking purposes in Kenya. A desk study was conducted using the 2015/2016 Kenya Integrated household budget survey data published by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). Stepwise multiple regression using SPSS was run to determine how household size, female household headship, lack of education among household heads, ownership of housing unit, modern housing, access to credit, access to cash transfers, shock to household welfare, and household level of expenditure affect household utilisation of fuelwood and charcoal for cooking purposes. Results of the regression show that household ownership of a housing unit has a significant positive influence on household utilisation of fuelwood for cooking purposes. Access to credit has a significant negative influence on household charcoal utilisation, while both household expenditure beyond $71 and lack of education among household heads have a significant negative influence on household utilisation of fuelwood and a significant positive influence on household utilisation of charcoal. Therefore, the government of Kenya through its relevant authorities and agencies has a crucial role to play in ensuring that these socio-economic determinants of household use of solid biofuels are addressed. This is achievable through re-strategising, re-designing and designing policies aimed at facilitating households’ transition to clean energy alternatives and sustainable development.
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