Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of General Forestry, Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hawassa Universit P.O.Box 128, Shashemene, Ethiopia.

2 Department of Environmental Science. Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hawassa University, P.O.Box 128, Shashemene, Ethiopia

3 Department of General Forestry, Hawassa University Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, P.O.Box 128, Shashemene, Ethiopia



This study was conducted in the Loka Abaya District of Sidama Region, Southern Ethiopia to assess the environmental impacts of biomass energy production with particular emphasis on charcoal and firewood. The data collection was undertaken using the questionnaire survey administered to 186 randomly selected households. This task was followed by key informant interviews and an analysis of the literature. The sampled households produced 208 432.9 kg firewood yr-1 for domestic consumption and 261 039.8 kg charcoal yr-1 for sale in town.  2.3x10-6 km2 of the forest is cleared to produce a single sack of charcoal. Charcoal and firewood production is totally responsible for the degradation of 39.4 ha of forest per year. The associated emissions of CO2, CO, N2O, CH4, and TNMHC (total non-methane hydrocarbon) during the production and consumption of firewood and charcoal were calculated based on the emission factors indicated by previous studies. The results demonstrated that the trace gases produced during charcoal making were higher than that of charcoal burning. Further, the amounts of greenhouse gases generated during firewood burning were higher than the ones generated during charcoal burning. In order to minimize the challenges of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions caused by charcoal and firewood consumption, a strategy of promoting the utilization of alternative clean energy sources such as solar and biogas should be implemented in parallel to the effort of adoption of improved biomass energy-saving cook stoves.


Main Subjects

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