Analysis of the effects of charcoal burning on the environment, in Lagoro subcounty, Kitgum District
Lamunu, Proscovia Othieno
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Over 95% of the urban population uses charcoal, very little is known about the effects of fuel on the livelihoods of the producers, who endure significant health, safety, and environmental risks. Charcoal supplies about 95 percent of the domestic and commercial cooking energy needs in the developing countries including Uganda. This study assessed the effects of charcoal production on the environment in Lakwor Parish, Lagoro Sub County. The specific objectives of the study was to examine the causes of charcoal burning, the benefits of charcoal burning to the people of the study area, and how charcoal burning affects the environment and assessing how the different strategies put in place are regulating charcoal burning. The research study was descriptive in nature hence both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were employed. A sample size of 70 respondents was considered. The study used random sampling, data was analyzed using corresponding percentages in the frequency tables and further presentation in the pie-charts and bar graphs. The study found out that the main cause of charcoal burning was the need for money/income and unemployment. Findings also indicated that low density distribution of Shea nut trees was the most serious negative effect of charcoal burning on trees/forests resources while the least effect was air pollution. Shea trees (“yaa”) and Combretum collinum (“odugu”) were the most used tree species for charcoal burning. The highest benefit of charcoal burning to the local people was source of money. It was found out that the best control measure of regulating charcoal production has been arresting and paying fines by people caught cutting trees for charcoal. Regulation measures made included, diversification and creation of more employment, planting more trees.