ASSESSING THE EFFECT OF CHARCOAL PRODUCTION AND USE ON THE TRANSITION TO A GREEN ECONOMY IN KENYA
Forest cover depletion
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to assess the effect of charcoal production and use on the transition to a green economy in Kenya. This study identified the target tree species that are a source of charcoal consumed in Nairobi city, determined quantity of charcoal consumed in the city of Nairobi and estimated forest cover depletion from charcoal production and use. The study adopted a research survey design involving the use of semi-structured questionnaire, with a target of 100 respondents (20 large scale charcoal traders and 80 charcoal users) sampled through person-to-person interview, selected using a purposive/systematic random sampling technique. Descriptive statistical data techniques were used to analyze the field data. The findings revealed that about 1264 ha and 15174 ha of forest cover are depleted on monthly and yearly basis respectively. Forest cover depletion is predicted by charcoal consumption. The study also revealed that Kenya would lose about 65.6% of its forest cover to charcoal production and use by 2030. Taking measures to propagate the most preferred Acacia species and ensuring massive tree planting exercise especially in order to protect arid areas of the country is important. Legislations on charcoal, reforestation/afforestation should be reinforced nation-wide if Kenya hopes to transition to a green economy within its vision 2030 agenda.