IMPACT OF FUELWOOD CONSUMPTION ON VEGETATION COVER IN ZARIA AND ITS ENVIRONS, KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Fuelwood is a renewable form of energy that has continued to be the only energy option (especially for cooking) for most people in the developing countries. The study aimed at examining the impact of fuelwood consumption on vegetation cover in Zaria and its environs, Kaduna State, Nigeria. The study used questionnaire to collect data from 384 respondents in the study area. A time series analysis of Landsat satellite imageries of the study area from 1973-2014 using Remote Sensing (NDVI model) was used to identify hot spots of deforestation. The results indicate that the vegetation of the area has drastically reduced since 1970s. However, both the pattern and causes of the observed change were non-linear. Similarly, evidence from ground truthing investigation has shown that fuelwood collection is among the major factors of deforestation in the region with 39.9%, mainly due to lack of alternative energy sources in the region. The results further reveal that the source areas of fuelwood procurement are within the regions (Igabi, Soba and Giwa) among others but a times use to cross the local administrative boarder of the regions (Birnin-Gwari, Lere and Kauru) respectively. Cheaper, availability and affordability of fuelwood were found as factors responsible for fuelwood consumption. Results indicated a mean and standard deviation consumption rates for 13.44kg and 5.62kg per household per day in the study area respectively. The study also found irregular patterns of vegetation cover in 80% of the area under study with periods of remarkable vegetatal cover decreases between 1973 and 2014. The study found complex patterns of population distribution with a corresponding increase in demand for fuelwood. However, the direct effect of precipitation patterns across season was not found to be substantially affect the pattern of and rate of fuelwood consumption. The most prevailing factors were found to be limited alternative energy sources, poverty and space for agriculture activities. The study recommends that planting of more trees after cutting the existing ones is very important; Government should provide more job opportunities for people in the country; it should make alternative energy available; and Strong law enforcement that will discourage deforestation.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1         BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Environment is the sum total of the condition within which living organisms live and interact with nonliving ones. The surroundings in which an organization operates includes air, water, land and natural resources. It also affects the life, nature, behavior and growth, development and maturation of living organism (Barrow, 1993; ISO 2010; Douglas and Holland, 2011).


Fuelwood is a renewable form of energy that has continued to be the only energy option (especially for cooking) for most people in the DC (Ali and Benjaminsen, 2004; Shackleton et al., 2006; Ghilardi et al., 2007 and 2009 and Maconachie et al., 2009). Results from recent studies of the Nigerian fuelwood situation suggest that the majority of the population has been moving back to the use of fuelwood in recent times. For example, a study conducted in Kano city in Northern Nigeria by Maconachie et al. (2009) which investigates the consumption pattern of fuelwood among households over at least two decades, revealed that most families, despite using other cooking fuels in the past, are now reverting to the use of fuelwood. There are various reasons for this, including among others, poverty and inconsistency in the supply of fossil fuels in the region. Increasing poverty has ever been reported in the developed countries as a driving factor in the use of fuelwood. Arabatzis et al. (2012) reported that because of the economic crisis in Greece, there is an increased consumption of fuelwood, especially in rural areas.

World Energy Consumption stands for the total energy used by the human civilizations across the globe. Organizations such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the European Environment Agency record and publish data regarding energy consumption periodically. Worldwide energy markets have witnessed increasing activities by the energy consumers because global primary energy consumption including commercial renewable energy rose, by 5.6% in 2010, the highest

since 1973. China alone consumes 20.3% of the total global energy followed closely by the US at 19%. India consumes a mere 4.4% of the total with the global average consumption (excluding China and USA) at just 0.87%. The global consumption of fossil fuel has considerably increased and the United States accounts for 21.1% of the consumption rate. Coal and renewable energy like biofuels are also among the highly consumed energy in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Vision 20:20:20; Qamar and Siddiqui, 2012).

A report UNDP (2004) posited Nigeria as having a unique geographic location which endows her with a biodiversity that comprises the savannas (Sahel, Sudan and Guinea); forests (lowland rainforest, freshwater swamp forest, mangrove forest and coastal) and mountaine along the Eastern border with Cameroon and Central Nigeria.


Energy consumption patterns shows that Nigeria is challenged by limited alternative energy sources even though she is potentially endowed with sustainable energy resources. Among the energy resources in Nigeria are oil, gas, lignite, and coal bio-fuels, solar, hydropower, and wind (Okafor and Joe-Uzuegbu, 2010).

The patterns of energy use in Nigeria's economy was categorized in industrial, transport, commercial, agricultural, and household facets (Energy Commission of Nigeria, 2003). The household sector accounts for the largest share of energy use in the country - about 65%. This is largely due to the low level of development in all the other sectors. The major energy-consuming activities in Nigeria's households are cooking, lighting, and use of electrical appliances. Cooking accounts for a staggering 91% of household energy consumption, lighting uses up to 6%, and the remaining 3% can be attributed to the use of basic electrical appliances such as televisions and pressing irons (ECN, 2005). The predominant energy resources for domestic and commercial uses in Nigeria are fuelwood, charcoal, kerosene, cooking gas and electricity (Famuyide, Anamayi and Usman, 2011). Other sources, though less common, are sawdust, agricultural crop residues of corn stalk, cassava sticks, and, in extreme cases, cow dung. In Nigeria, among the urban dwellers, kerosene and gas are the major cooking fuels. The majority of the people rely on kerosene stoves for domestic cooking, while only a few use gas and electric cookers (Abiodun, 2003).


In the world's poorest countries, biomass fuels - firewood, agricultural residues, animal wastes, and charcoal - account for up to 90 percent of the energy supply, mostly in traditional or noncommercial forms. In developing countries, the lack of clean and affordable energy is a significant barrier to development and a major contributor to a host of environmental and human health problems (World Energy Association, 2001). Nevertheless, it is pertinent to note that fuelwood and other combustible and renewable resources were humankind‘s first energy sources. However, wood is more flexible than other known energy sources and thus gains supremacy over other fuel resources mainly because it costs less and in some circumstances obtained free from the environment (Williams, 2003). According to.....

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 164 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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