Analysis of the Status of a Mixed Semi- arid" j Woodland in Response to Charcoal Production in Elangata Wuas, Kajiado District, Kenya

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Addis Ababa Universty


Understanding charcoal production impact on the woodland status is vital for sustainable management given increasing charcoal demands from growing urban populations. The status of a mixed semiarid woodland was assessed in relation to charcoal production in Kajiado district southern Kenya. Status of the woodland was assessed from 72 circular sample plots and the historical perspective established using maps and discussions with elders. Plots measuring O.OSha were assessed counting seedlings and saplings and measuring tree diameter at breath height along altitudinal gradient /i'om the hilltops to the plains. Charcoal production process and efficiency /i'om traditional eat1h kilns were investigated by comparing outputs and inputs to understand loses. Results show that tree cover (woodland) has increased with discontinuity in species along altitudinal gradient. Tree density decreases from the hilltop to the plains with failure in regenerates especially at the sapling class. Charcoal recovery rate averaged 8% and preference was for A. torti/is, A. mellifera and B. aegyptiaca in that order with basal diameter> IScm for charcoal production. Estimates show supply balanced with demand and points the problem of charcoal production to the low recovety rates and divergence between state and community forest management objectives. Reconciliation of state and community objectives, "boma" enclosures and "mbuzi" woodlots, selective cutting entrenched in enforcement and making of enabling rather than restrictive legislation among others are recommended as strategies that may be pursued to enhance dty woodland contribution to sustainable development. Keywords: Dry woodlands, charcoal production, sustainable exh'actioll



Dry woodlands, Charcoal production, Sustainable exh'actioll