Households Access and Preference to Cooking Fuels in Abuja, Nigeria
In Nigeria, cooking fuels are very important in the life of every household because most of the food items must be heated, smoked, dried or cooked before consumption. As an indispensible part of life, a study was conducted to determine households access and preference to cooking fuels in Abuja, Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling technique was adopted for sample selection while structured questionnaires were used for data collection. A total of 216 rural households were randomly interviewed in four agricultural zones. Data were analyzed using two-way mixed factorial analysis of variance and mean separation was done at 5% probability level. Results showed that, there were significant differences (p<0.01) in households access and preference to some of the cooking fuels. The mean responses indicated that the most accessible and preferable cooking fuel was firewood with mean access and preference values of 3.25 and 2.69, respectively while the least accessible and preferable cooking fuel was cooking gas. Similarly, there were significant (p<0.01) interaction effects of cooking fuels and locations implying that access and preference to each of the cooking fuels were not the same in some of the agricultural zones. Based on the results, it was concluded that households access and preference to some of the cooking fuels significantly differed and that firewood was the most accessible and preferable cooking fuel in the study area while cooking gas was the least. It was recommended that campaign on agro-forestry should be intensified to replace felled trees that were used as firewood.
Received: February 24, 2013;
Accepted: April 01, 2013;
Published: July 01, 2013
In Nigeria, a household consists of a person or group of persons living together
usually under the same roof or in the same building/compound, who share the
same source of food and recognize themselves as a social unit with a head of
household (NPC, 2006), In 2006, census exercise put the
population of Nigeria at 140,431,790 people with 30,541,248 households. Abuja,
the Federal Capital of Nigeria, had 1,406,239 people with 238,574 households
(NBS, 2009). This brings to light the number of households
that depend on one form of cooking fuel or the other in Nigeria and Abuja in
particular. No matter the number of persons in the households, they must process
the food items before consumption. Although, some of the food items like fruits
and vegetables may be consumed raw, the fact still remains that most of the
food items must be either smoked, cooked, dried or heated before consumption
hence the relevance of fuel in the life of every household is not debatable.
Apart from food processing, Jatau et al. (2006)
stated that the economic activities of most societies depend on the availability
of fuel because according to the author, it is a necessary ingredient of social,
political and physical development. As a developing economy, the major sources
of cooking fuel in Nigeria are firewood (fuelwood), electricity (electric stoves,
electric heater, electric cooker), charcoal, kerosene and cooking gas (Liquid
Despite the abundance of natural resources like oil, gas and high potential
for hydro-electric power in Nigeria, report by Maduka (2011)
indicated that Nigeria relied so much on traditional energy sources like firewood
(fuelwood), bagasse and crop residues for her daily energy needs. An estimated
55% of Nigerias primary energy requirements according to Maduka
(2011), come from firewood, biomass, charcoal and animal waste and these
are primarily used for heating and cooking at home. Also, Nigerias fuel
wood consumption according to Maduka (2011) is about
80 million cubic meters. This shows that biomass fuel is the commonest source
of household energy in Nigeria. The demand for energy has continued to increase
not only in Nigeria but in other developed and developing countries of the world
due to increasing population, improved standard of living and growth of manufacturing
industries (Adedayo et al., 2008). In Abuja,
studies conducted by Ishaya et al. (2010) indicated
that Abuja experienced an increased pace of urbanization due to the rapid rate
of its development and the influx of people into the territory. With the increased
pace of urbanization in Abuja and in view of the fact that energy is one of
the most important components of sustainable development, affecting peace and
security, the environment, social and economic growth (Jatau
et al., 2006), the questions are: What is the most accessible and
preferable cooking fuel to rural households in Abuja, Nigeria? Are there zonal
differences in households access and preference to cooking fuels?
The answers to the questions are very important because policy analysis and
thinking concerning fuel choice is usually rooted in the concept of the energy
ladder. The energy ladder theory states that in response to higher income and
other variables, households will shift demand from traditional biomass and other
solid fuels to more modern and efficient cooking fuels like Liquid Petroleum
Gas (LPG), kerosene, natural gas, or even electricity. The movement or process
involving a shift from traditional energy sources to a more modern energy is
usually termed fuel switching or interfuel substitution
(Barnes and Qian, 1992; Hosier and
Kipondya, 1993; Leach, 1992). In this model, emphasis
is placed so much on income in the explanation of fuel choice and fuel switching.
The energy ladder model presents a picture of a three-stage fuel switching process.
The first stage depicts a universal dependence on biomass fuel. In the second
stage, households transit from biomass fuel to such other fuels like kerosene,
coal and charcoal in response to higher incomes and factors such as deforestation
and urbanization. In the third phase, households switch to Liquid Petroleum
Gas (LPG), natural gas, or electricity. The major force influencing the movement
up the energy ladder is hypothesized to be income and relative fuel prices (Leach,
1992; Barnes and Floor, 1999). The key achievement
of the energy ladder model is its ability to capture the strong income dependence
of fuel choices. But the question is: Is it only income that determines households
fuel choice and fuel switching? Apart from income, what of access and preference
to cooking fuels which can, among other variables, determine to a large extent,
the quality and quantity of cooking fuels that would be consumed by households
at any given time and in any given location? Switching from one energy level
to another can be affected by the households level of access and preference
to the physically available cooking fuels in the area.
Contrary to the energy ladder concept which sees household income as a major
determinant of fuel choice and fuel switching, the objectives of this study
are to: (1) determine households most accessible and preferable cooking
fuel, (2) determine the least accessible and preferable cooking fuel to the
households, (3) determine if significant differences exist in the households
access and preference to the cooking fuels in the study area.
The study was conducted in Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria. It is located
between latitudes 8°25` and 9°25` North of the equator and longitudes
6°45` and 7°45` East of Greenwich. The population for the study comprised
all the rural households in the study area. For effective coverage, multi-stage
technique was adopted for sample selection while structured questionnaires were
used for data collection. Presently, Abuja Agricultural Development Programme.
(AADP) has four agricultural zones-Central, Eastern, Northern and Western Zones-with
twelve agricultural blocks and ninety three cells In the first stage, all the
four agricultural zones were selected. In the second stage, all the twelve agricultural
blocks were also chosen. From each of the agricultural blocks (third stage),
six cells were randomly chosen given a total of 72 cells. In the fourth stage,
three households heads (male or female) from each of the cells were randomly
selected and interviewed. This gave a total of fifty four respondents in each
agricultural zone. For the four agricultural zones, a total of 216 respondents
(households) were used for the study. Equal number of households was interviewed
in the four agricultural zones because of the method of analysis adopted (i.e.
the two-way mixed analysis of variance). By implication, the fifty four households
interviewed in each of the agricultural zones served as replications.
In the analysis, the independent factors considered were the type of cooking
fuel used and the agricultural zones (locations) of the households while the
dependent variables are access/preference to cooking fuels. Households
locations in Abuja were included in the analysis to see if there were locational
differences in access and preference to cooking fuels. Cooking fuels has five
levels namely: firewood (fuelwood), electricity, charcoal, kerosene and cooking
gas while location has four levels-Abuja central, eastern, northern and western
zones. This gave 4x5 mixed factorial design. This is a two-way repeated analysis
of variance (Andy, 2005; Gray and Kinnear,
2012). The model specification for the analysis is:
where, Yij is the individual households response regarding
access/preference to each of the cooking fuels, μ is the general mean,
Ti is the effects on access/preference due to the type of cooking
fuels, Lj is the effects on access and preference due to households
location in Abuja, TLij is the interaction effects of cooking fuels
and locations and eij is the error term.
This is a repeated measure ANOVA (Andy, 2005) and by
implication, the model tests the hypotheses that households access and
preference to cooking fuels (Yij), depends on the type of cooking
fuel (Ti), the location of the household in Abuja (Lj)
and the interaction effects of cooking fuels and locations (TLij).
The μ (population mean) is the grand mean of the scores empirically obtained.
It has a constant value and thus does not contribute to any variation in the
observed differences (Aggarwal, 2002) while eij
is the error term. The data collected from households on their access and preferences
to the cooking fuels were analyzed separately using the above model. Households
levels of access to each of the five cooking fuels (firewood, charcoal, kerosene,
electricity and cooking gas (Liquid Petroleum Gas) were verified using: very
highly accessible (4), highly accessible (3), fairly accessible (2), very low
access (1) and not accessible at all (0) while level of preference was verified
using very highly preferred (3), highly preferred (2), fairly preferred (1),
not preferred (0). The above scores were used in the analysis in line with the
method adopted by Andy (2005), David
(2004), Fredrick and Wallnau (2004), Shah
and Madden (2004), Harry and Steven (1995) and Fred
(1977). SPSS 15.0 package was used to run the analysis and mean separation
was done using Bonferroni model. It was tested at 5% probability level.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Table 1 shows the ANOVA results of the households access
to cooking fuels. The result, F (4, 848) = 324.67, p = 0.00, indicated that
irrespective of location, there was significant (p<0.01) difference in households
access to some of the cooking fuels. In other words there was significant (p<0.01)
difference in the mean responses of the households regarding access to some
of the cooking fuels. Similarly, the result, F(12, 848) = 15.10, p = 0.00, revealed
that there was significant (p<0.01) interaction effect of cooking fuels and
locations. Furthermore, the ANOVA result, F(3, 212) = 26.65, p = 0.00, showed
that households access to all the cooking fuels significantly differed
(p<0.01) in some of the agricultural zones (locations). Based on the ANOVA
results, mean separation was done (Table 2) and the results
showed that irrespective of location, the most accessible cooking fuel was firewood
(3.25) followed by kerosene (2.20), charcoal (1.94) and electricity (1.14) while
the least accessible was cooking gas (0.22). This agrees with the report by
Maduka (2011) which indicated that citizens from developing
countries like Nigeria have very limited or no access to modern energy systems
and services and rely solely on traditional fuel sources such as firewood, biomass,
charcoal and animal waste for heating and cooking within their homes. The finding
of this study equally agrees with that of Shaad and Wilson
(2009) which indicated that cooking is the most important energy need for
most Nigerians and that 67% of the population uses wood or charcoal as a cooking
fuel. By implication, if 67% uses cooking fuel or charcoal, only thirty three
percent uses other forms of cooking fuel. In Zimbabwe, a study report based
on an ordinal data by Campbell et al. (2003)
revealed a transition by households in urban cities from wood to kerosene. This
transition from wood to kerosene may not necessarily be due to income alone
but could be as a result of access to kerosene.
Table 3 shows the ANOVA results of the cooking fuels which
the households preferred to use. The results, F(4, 848) = 273.00, p = 0.00,
indicated that irrespective of location, households preference to use
some of the cooking fuels significantly (p<0.01) differed. Again, the result,
F(12, 848) = 13.76, p = 0.00, indicated that there was significant (p<0.01)
interaction effect of cooking fuel and location.
|| ANOVA results of households access to cooking fuels
|Source: Survey data (2011)
|| Mean separation of households access to cooking fuels
|Means with the same alphabet did not significantly differ
from each other, Source: Survey data (2011)
|| ANOVA results of households preference to cooking fuels
|Source: Survey data (2011)
|| Mean separation of households preference to cooking
|Means with the same alphabet did not significantly differ
from each other, Source: Survey data (2011)
In other words, households preference to use any of the cooking fuels
depended on the type of cooking and households location in the study area.
In addition, the result, F(3, 212) = 24.50, p = 0.00, revealed that the main
effect of location was also significant (p<0.01). In other words, there were
locational differences in the households preference to use some of the
cooking fuels in Abuja. Based on the ANOVA results, mean separation was carried
out and results (Table 4) indicated that the most preferred
cooking fuel in the study area was firewood (2.69) followed by charcoal (1.66),
kerosene (1.65) and electricity (1.07) while the least preferred cooking fuel
was cooking gas (Liquid Petroleum Gas) with mean response value of 0.23.
Comparing the results on access to that of preference, it can be inferred that
there is a relationship between households access and preference to cooking
fuels. This is so because the order of access and preference to cooking fuels
was the same. In both analysis, the most accessible and preferable cooking fuel
was firewood. The high access and preference to firewood may be attributed to
the fact that an estimated 60-70% of the Nigerian population according to CREDC
(2007) did not have access to electricity. The high cost of kerosene and
the dangers involved in using it may have also been one of the reasons why the
households preferred firewood. Kerosene lamps provide poor lighting and are
expensive, inefficient, highly polluting and dangerous. Adulterated and low
quality kerosene according to CREDC (2007), is widely
available on the black market and has been recorded as being responsible for
several explosions that have resulted in severe injuries and deaths in Nigeria.
Its prices fluctuate with that of crude oil in the international market and
supply has been unreliable with Nigerians being forced to depend on expensive
black market sources for basic needs (Olise and Nria-Dappa,
In the order of access and preference, electricity which is the basic source
of global energy, took the fourth position. This goes to confirm the report
of Shaad and Wilson (2009) which indicated that inadequate
power generation and transmission, limited access to the national grid and generator
fuel costs are persistent problems for nearly every Nigerian. IEA
(2002) stated that four out of five people without electricity live in rural
areas of the developing countries for which Nigeria is one. According to United
Nations (2008), 97% of firms in Nigeria, 73% in Bangladesh, 36% in Honduras
and 33% in the Philippines identified poor electricity service to be a severe
obstacle to business operation and growth. It is not peculiar to Nigeria because
Surveyor (2007) stated that Africas electricity
consumption is low because majority of the population had no access to electricity.
Poor access to electricity may have contributed to the high preference for firewood
in the study area.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS
The results of this study have important implications in the society or environment.
The implications are multidimensional because, first, firewood is a product
of deforestation and the findings from the study indicated that the most accessible
and preferable cooking fuel by rural households in Abuja, Nigeria was firewood.
This has a lot of policy implications and must be taken seriously by the Federal
Government of Nigeria and the International Communities because trees and shrubs
are very important in the improvement of soil fertility. Felling down of trees
and shrubs by households due to unrestricted access and the desire (preference)
to cook with firewood imply that the fertility of soil will drop because the
trees and shrubs will no longer be there to perform their natural roles.. It
will also accelerate soil degradation and create desert-like conditions (Solomon
and Gambo, 2010).
To portray the extent of deforestation in Nigeria, a study conducted by UNSN
(2001) in the Northern Nigeria indicated that the annual deforestation of
woodland ran to about 93, 000 km while Nigeria, as a country, consumes 50-55
million cubic meters of woods annually. This approximately reflects accessibility
and preference of households to forest resources. This has to be addressed because
the over reliance on traditional energy sources according to Surveyor
(2007), leads to low level of energy efficiency, deforestation and biodiversity
loss among other things.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 2.5 million women and young
children in developing countries die prematurely each year from breathing the
fumes from indoor biomass stoves. Biomass smoke, according to the report, contains
many noxious components, including respirable particulates, carbon monoxide,
nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (Mishra
et al., 1999). High exposures to these air pollutants have been shown
to cause serious health problems. A study by Maduka (2011)
revealed that women exposed to indoor smoke are three times likely to suffer
from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, such as chronic bronchitis than
women who cook with electricity, gas or other cleaner fuels.
Apart from deforestation and health challenges, Bizzarri
(2009) also stated that black carbon emissions from biomass fuels are a
major source of global climate change. This has to be seriously considered because
Mani et al. (2009) stated that global warming
which is one of the negative consequences of climate change, has led to the
decrease in the number and quantity of rainfall. Global warming, the author
said, reduces the moisture available to crops.
The importance of cooking fuels in the life of every household is not debatable
because most food items must be cooked, smoked, dried or heated before consumption.
Because of the indispensible roles of cooking fuels in our society, a study
was conducted to determine households access and preference to cooking
fuels in Abuja, Nigeria. Data were collected from households in the four agricultural
zones and results indicated that there was significant difference in the households
access and preference to some of the cooking fuels (fuelwood, electricity, charcoal,
kerosene and cooking gas Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). Mean separation indicated
that the most accessible and preferable cooking fuel was firewood while the
least accessible and preferable was cooking gas (LPG). Since firewood is got
from the felling of tress and shrubs, it was strongly recommended that Nigerian
government at all levels and non-governmental organizations should intensify
campaign on agro-forestation to replace the destroyed trees and shrubs in the
forest because of the negative implications in the society.
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