Biofuel availability and domestic use patterns in Kenya

Document Type



East African Institute


The annual domestic consumption levels and patterns of various common biofuels in Kenya were surveyed. The main fuelwood sources were farmland trees, indigenous forests, woodlands and timber off-cuts from plantations. In 1997, about 15.4 million tonnes of firewood (air-dried) were consumed and an equivalent of 17.1 million tonnes round wood wet weight (w/w) was converted to charcoal. In the same year, 1.4 million tonnes of a variety of crop residues were also consumed as domestic fuel. Biofuel availability was the major factor influencing the reported annual spatial species use and consumption patterns. Competing demand for the commonly-used tree species (mainly eucalyptus trees) for commercial and other purposes accounts, to a large extent, for the reported dwindling amounts. Communities in various regions have responded by gradually shifting to other available types including those in gazetted forests. Such a response strategy has implications on the long-term spatial and temporal biofuel use patterns.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication ( Name of Journal)

Biomass and Bioenergy