Adoption of Biomass Briquettes as Alternative Source of Energy in Maasai-Mau Region, Narok County, Kenya
Mokaya, Dennis Chweya
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Climate change phenomenal is a trend that impacts the local communities by affecting their way of life. High demand for wood products to meet the demand of energy supply in Maasai-Mau region has seen the depletion of the forest cover thus increasing carbon dioxide emission and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, there is no extensive research on the benefits of alternative sources of energy like solar, biogas and biomass briquette in mitigating these impacts. The study investigated the adoption of biomass briquettes as an alternative source of energy in Maasai-Mau, Narok County, Kenya. The study was guided with three objectives (i) to determine the level of adoption of biomass briquette in Maasai-Mau region, (ii) to evaluate the challenges and hindrances Maasai-Mau residents face in the adoption of biomass briquettes in Maasai-Mau region and (iii) to investigate the availability of biomass briquette making materials in Maasai-Mau region. The study used two sampling techniques; systematic and purposive sampling to get information from the key informants and households in the study area with a target sample of 100 respondents. The findings obtained were analysed through Excel and Statistical Package of Social Sciences. Data results were presented in graphs, pie-charts, and tables. From the results, the hypothesis was analysed by Chi-square (2). The study failed to reject the null hypothesis of a relatively low level of education hinders the adoption of biomass briquette, where (2=9.866, DF=6, P=0.13). The study concluded that the level of biomass adoption in Maasai-Mau region was relatively low with only 28% of the households using briquettes daily as compared to other sources of energy. The other conclusion from the study was that biomass briquette making materials were readily available with saw dust chippings and charcoal dusts ranking 84.61% and 79.49% respectively. Finally, the study found out that lack of funds and lack of briquette making skills were the highest challenge to adoption of briquette making technology in the region, being ranked as 88% and 77.6% respectively. The primary recommendations were that the Massai-Mau region residents be educated on biomass briquette making skills, and ensuring that their biomass briquette initiatives are funded to solve the challenges they face while adopting this clean energy mechanism as an alternative source of energy.