Assessment of the impact of charcoal production on savannah vegetation in Sanaag Region, Somalia.

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Kampala International University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Nowadays, charcoal supplies about 95 percent of the domestic and commercial cooking energy needs in the developing countries including Somalia. This study assessed the impact of charcoal production on savannah vegetation in Sanaag region by finding out the causes of charcoal production and/or burning on savannah vegetation, identifying the various forms of charcoal production activities on savannah vegetation, examining how charcoal productionMaffects savannah vegetation and assessing how the different strategies put in place are regulating charcoal production on savannah vegetation. The research study was descriptive and qualitative in nature hence both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used. A sample size of 77 respondents was considered. The study used both random and purposive sampling procedures. Data was analyzed using corresponding percentages, in the frequency tables and further presentation in the pie-charts and bar graphs. The study found out and concluded that most of the local people do not see charcoal production as a danger to the savannah vegetation and unemployment is the leading cause of charcoal burning, The most common method used for charcoal production is the earth pit kiln. The traditional earth mounds produce up to 10 bags of charcoal as the highest in terms of production while the steel kiln method produces more than 10 bags and it is the least used and preferred. However, the earth pit kilns produce 2 basins to 6 bags of charcoal and it is the most preferred. The highest price of charcoal is US $25 and above. The domestic activity that uses too much charcoal is cooking food. Pastoralism is the most preferred alternative economic activity to charcoal production. Acacia bussei is the tree species mostly used for charcoal burning. Another finding of the study indicated that reduction and/or loss of soil productivity is the most serious negative effect on savannah vegetation while the least effect was pollution. The highest benefit of charcoal burning to the local people is source of income or employment. It was found that the best measure of regulating charcoal production is the diversification of economic activities. The following recommendations were made including Income Generating Activities, conducting proper training and skills, loans should be provided at affordable interest rates and a scheme of small grants, more awareness should also be created at all levels of education, the government should reduce the prices of charcoal to discourage its export while also prohibiting the export of charcoal. Energy saving technologies, fast growing tree species should be introduced. Periodic research should be conducted and a ban should be put on the cutting of the scarce Acacia tree species.
A dissertation submitted to the college of applied sciences and technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of a Bachelors of science Degree in Environmental Management of Kampala International University.
charcoal production, savannah vegetation, Sanaag Region