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Energy Needs, Tasks and Resources in the Sahel: Relevance to Woodstoves Programmes

E. Cecelski
GeoJournal
Vol. 7, No. 1, Rural Energy in the Third World (1983), pp. 15-23
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41142767
Page Count: 9
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Energy Needs, Tasks and Resources in the Sahel: Relevance to Woodstoves Programmes
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Abstract

This article reviews the wood fuels situation in the Sahel and the findings of various needs assessment methodologies, especially as these are relevant to the numerous programmes to introduce improved cooking technologies in the region. Most people in West Africa, especially in poor and rural areas, rely primarily on wood fuels and crop wastes for energy needs, with devastating environmental consequences. Most wood is used in cooking. The quantity of fuel used depends on the type of fireplace, utensils used, how and when food is prepared, food preparation methods, types of fuels, how fuelwood is collected, and special customs surrounding the family fire — all of which are intimately associated with the economic, cultural and social fabric of Sahelian societies. Conventional fuel consumption and resource surveys have yielded useful information about quantitative energy needs in the Sahel, but increasingly sociocultural studies are being used to ensure that stove designs will meet the needs of the end-user. Economic analysis is also necessary to establish the dimensions of wood scarcity, to assess the financial attractiveness to consumers of alternative fuels and stoves, and in evaluating the costs and benefits to society of proposed national woodstoves programmes.

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