Land Use Change, Biomass Fuel Portfolios and Household Coping Strategies

Pamela Jagger, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Rapid land use change in Uganda is altering the type and quantity of biomass fuels that households use for cooking. This study uses a panel fixed effects regression model for a sample of 160 households to explore how rapid deforestation influences fuel choice. A main objective is to explain heterogeneity in fuel use portfolios. We test the hypothesis that relatively well-off households are switching to biomass fuel portfolios that have lower levels of exposure to carbon dioxide, particulate matter and other toxins with serious implications for health and socioeconomic outcomes for women and children. We also characterize and explain heterogeneity in household coping strategies, including reductions in meals cooked, changes in time to collect biomass fuels, adoption of improved technologies. The findings from this study aid in the targeting of both health and environmental policy interventions aimed at reducing exposure to biomass fuel toxins.

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Presented in Session 104: Population, Health, and the Environment: Impacts and Responses