Fuel Wood and Desertification



Fuel Wood Consumption and Desertification in Nigeria

by Audu, E.B.
Government Secondary School, Lugbe, Along Umaru Musa Yar’adua Way, Abuja – FCT, Nigeria.
Uncontrolled population explosion especially in the developing countries, the need and struggle for survival as well as the quest for more comfort are the major causes of environmental resources depletion in the world with particular reference to Nigeria. One of the environmental resources over–exploited in Nigeria without adequate replacement
is vegetation particularly trees.
This paper seeks to look into the degree of fuel wood consumption in Nigeria using data of
the percentage (%) distribution of households by type of fuel for cooking in 2007 , areas of the desert–prone states in km2 and the population figures of the affected states
The results are presented in tables, analyzed using descriptive and comparative methods, discussed with mitigation measures suggested.
The result shows that fuel wood is there about the only means of domestic fire in the desert–prone states leading to desertification as other sources of domestic fire are almost not in use.  It is therefore suggested that other means of domestic fuel such as wind, solar,
kerosene, electricity, coal and gas should be made available at affordable rates and encouraged for use by ensuring continuous and constant supply.
Other measures of mitigating desertification such as afforestation, re–afforestation, creation of more forest and plantation reserves, creation of more shelter belts, controlled grazing and perennial cropping among others were also suggested

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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