Women in rural areas have a heavy workload that included delivery of food, water and fuel for household needs
New research findings on bioenergy access and delivery in Kenya are recommending greater collaboration between stakeholders to promote sustainable use of bioresources, biofuels and bioresidues.
In a socioeconomic baseline survey carried out by the eastern Africa office of Practical Action Consulting, in Kenya, between March and December 2008, researchers evaluated the bioenergy needs, gaps, status and opportunities for poor people in Kenya. The research focused on the socioeconomic links and patterns of bioenergy use, access and delivery for the poor in Kenya and generated baseline data that can guide national decision-making.
The report, ‘Bioenergy and Poverty in Kenya: Attitudes, Actors and Activities’, looks at bioenergy use and access by communities in Kenya, with information collected from Kisumu, Lodwar, Mandera, Nairobi and Nakuru.
The report says more awareness of alternative bioenergy technologies and resources is needed in Kenya’s rural and peri-urban areas. It recommends training communities in producing and using low-cost energy-saving stoves and in planting trees. The long-term impacts of firewood and charcoal use by households and institutions should be better known, the report says, and charcoal use should be matched by tree replanting.
The report also calls for a change in attitudes regarding female provision of household fuel; such provision must begin to be seen, say the researchers, as a joint responsibility of all family members. And development programs should begin to treat energy and gender as central, not peripheral, issues in development.
The full report is available at http://www.pisces.or.ke/pubs/index.html