Forest biomass energy use and perceptions on tree planting and community woodlots in households of two rural communities in Keiskammahoek, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Maphiri, Stella (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2009-12)

Abstract

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Access to secure energy supplies is widely acknowledged as a critical foundation for sustainable development. Rural households are highly dependent on forest resources for their livelihoods including energy needs. Fuelwood is a non-timber forest product (NTFP) that accounts for one of the main uses of forests and woodlands. Despite substantial household electrification programmes in South Africa, the use of fuelwood as a source of energy continues. This study aimed to analyze fuelwood use patterns of two rural villages situated in Keiskammahoek in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa in order to understand the perceptions of the community members regarding communal tree planting. The study was conducted in two rural villages, namely, Cata and Tshoxa. A total of 120 respondents from both villages were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires to collect data on the use of fuelwood and evaluate their perception on tree planting. The study revealed that up to 77% of the people living in Keiskammahoek used fuelwood as a major source of energy and that women were the main collectors and users of fuelwood. In the rural Cata, food is cooked in three-legged pots over open fires while in Tshoxa food is mainly cooked over paraffin and electric stoves. The respondents from both villages did not have energy conservation measures in place and improved wood stoves have not been introduced in this region. The local community of Cata was also involved in tree planting on a community level, while both villages were also involved in tree planting at a household level. The study concluded that fuelwood was the most important product from the forests in both rural areas and natural forests were a valuable source of other NTFPs; most notably indigenous fruit products. In addition most of the fuelwood was used for cooking and heating purposes but that there was no deliberate use of energy efficient methods. On tree planting, the study showed that communities from both rural villages have an interest in planting trees around their households; with preference for fruit and shade trees.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Toegang tot betroubare energieverskaffing word algemeen erken as 'n uiters belangrike grondslag vir volhoubare ontwikkeling. Plattelandse huishoudings is hoogs afhanklik van bosbronne vir hul bestaan, met inbegrip van energiebehoeftes. Brandhout is 'n nie-hout bosproduk (NHBP) wat beskou word as een van die hoofgebruike van woude en boslande. Nieteenstaande wesenlike elektrifiseringsprogramme vir huishoudings in Suid-Afrika, duur die gebruik van brandhout as 'n bron van energie voort. Hierdie studie het beoog om die gebruikspatrone van brandhout van twee plattelandse dorpe in Keiskammahoek in die Oos-Kaapse Provinsie van Suid-Afrika te ontleed en om die begrip van die gemeenskap aangaande die gemeenskaplike plant van bome te verstaan. Die studie is in twee plattelandse dorpe, naamlik Cata en Tshoxa, uitgevoer. Onderhoude is gevoer met 'n totaal van 120 respondente van beide dorpe deur die gebruik van halfgestruktureerde vraelyste om gegewens oor die gebruik van brandhout in te samel en die respondente se begrip van die plant van bome te evalueer. Die studie het aan die lig gebring dat tot 77% van die mense wat in Keiskammahoek woon, brandhout as 'n hoofbron van energie gebruik en dat vrouens die hoofgaarders en gebruikers van brandhout is. In die landelike Cata word kos in driepootpotte op oop vure gekook terwyl kos in Tshoxa hoofsaaklik op paraffien- en elektriese stowe gekook word. Die respondente van beide dorpe het nie energiebesparingsmaatreëls in plek gehad nie en verbeterde houtstowe is nog nie in hierdie streek ingebring nie. Die plaaslike gemeenskap van Cata was ook betrokke by die plant van bome op 'n gemeenskapsvlak, terwyl beide dorpe ook betrokke was by die plant van bome op 'n huishoudelike vlak. Die studie het tot ’n gevolgtrekking gekom dat brandhout die belangrikste produk van die woude in beide plattelandse gebiede is en dat die natuurlike woude 'n belangrike bron van ander NHBP’s is; veral inheemse vrugteprodukte. Daarbenewens is meeste van die brandhout gebruik vir kook- en verhittingsdoeleindes, maar daar was geen doelbewuste gebruik van energiedoeltreffende metodes nie. Op die gebied van die plant van bome het die studie getoon dat die gemeenskappe van beide plattelandse dorpe belange het in die plant van bome rondom hulle huishoudings; met voorkeur aan vrugte- en skadubome.

Thesis (MScFor (Forest and Wood Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1503
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