Socio-Cultural Factors Associated with Biomass Fuels in Peri-Urban Areas of Ado Ekiti, Nigeria
6 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 7, 2012
The total reliance on biomass fuels freely collected from the forests has been the major means of meeting household energy demands in developing countries. The burning of these fuels – wood, charcoal, sawdust, crop residues and animal dung often compromise air quality in homes, especially when cooking is carried out in open fires. This paper analyses the socio-cultural factors associated with indoor air pollution in peri-urban areas of Ado Ekiti, Southwest Nigeria. A survey of households in these areas expound on the traditional values the people have in keeping to and persevering norms, as against the problem of indoor air pollution linked with the burning of biomass fuels. Furthermore, as revealed, perceptions about the use of some type of trees show that adherence to ethnic norms and values has made these householders fail to see the health impact(s) from exposure to indoor air pollution in their communities. Hence, in understanding indoor air pollution in developing countries, it is important to consider the underlying socio-cultural contexts peculiar to each environment so that appropriate interventions can be provided. Not only should focus be on socio-economic factors (income, education, age, occupation etc), but also on traditional beliefs and norms which do also contribute to the use of biomass fuels for cooking and lighting in developing countries.
Keywords: biomass fuel, indoor air pollution, socio-cultural context
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