An investigation of wood products consumption in Kisumu town, Kenya: implications for sustained tree planting
Kurauka, Joseph Kathiai
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The crisis of declining availability of wood products and their link with environmental degradation through wanton destruction of forests, continues to influence extensive investment in on-farm wood production and the promotion of new forms of forestry management. Although numerous programmes have been started in Kenya to increase the supply of wood products, namely, planting wood lots, agroforestry, and improvement of the extension services, wood products shortages continue to be severe especially in the Kenyan Lake Victoria Basin region. This study carried out in Kibuye market set out to determine tree species preferred for timber and other main wood products, their prices, quantities and sources. Using random sampling a sample of 224 respondents was drawn from a population of about 2,500 wood products dealers in Kibuye market to establish the said objectives through the analysis of data collected by means if interview schedules, questionnaires and observation sheets. Interviews were conducted to gather information from key informants, namely, the Winam divisional forest officers, market superintendent, and leaders of various wood products dealers associations. The study data were analyzed using statistical packages for social sciences (SPSS). Chi-square analysis was used to compare the available tree species for wood products used and species dealers would prefer for various wood products. Results of chi-square () indicate that the differences in available tree species for timber product and species dealers would prefer were significant at plevel (dfp. The study found out that trees such as: Eucalyptus spp., Pinus spp., and Cupressus spp, are commonly used species. There was a significant variation in the tree species preferred as well as their geographical location. Eucalyptus spp. is widely being adopted as an alternative source of hard wood in the district. The findings also showed that wood quality demanded has been increasing moderately between the years 1995 to 2002. Results of chi-square () indicate that the differences in the quantities of all wood products acquired between 1990-1995 and 1996-2002 were significant at plevel (dfpPrice of wood products have also significantly been increasing over the last ten years. From the study findings, it is evident that Eucalyptus, Cupressus and Pinus spp. tree species are available through out the year; however, some tree species including Jumiperus procera (Cedar), Olea africana, and Grevillea robusta among others are generally available in small quantities. Ocotea usambarensis (Camphor) and Olea capensis spp. Welwitschii were hardly available hence the little quantities available in the market were highly priced. The study showed sources of tree species for wood products to be: Kisumu, Nakuru, Vihiga, Uasin Gishu, Kericho and Narok. The former East African Tanning and Extract Company (Eatec) farm near Eldoret town in Uasin Gishu District is the main source of charcoal made from Olea mearnsi. During this study Eucalyptus spp., Pinus spp. and Cupressus spp. used for some wood products including timber, charcoal, posts/poles and fuelwood among others were found to be more within neighbouring districts especially Nyando, Nandi and Vihiga.