Comparative study on fuel use pattern of low income groups in urban and rural area

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Title Comparative study on fuel use pattern of low income groups in urban and rural area
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Bangladesh is a small country of 147,570 square kilometer area having population of 144 million. About 76% people lives in rural area. In Bangladesh, energy planning is concentrated at the national level and main emphasis is on conventional fuel. Since, 65% of total energy consumption comes from biomass fuel, so biomass should be given emphasis in the national energy planning. By introducing local level energy planning, it is possible to make self-reliant development through careful uses of the locally available energy sources. For this, by knowing about the energy use pattern, energy demand and potential energy resources, necessary decision can be taken for further intervention towards sustainability. Households, especially in a developing country Bangladesh, contribute significantly to the total energy consumption of a nation. Several factors, such as, socio-economic, demographic, geographic and dwelling characteristics of the households determine the households’ energy requirements. These factors are usually different in rural and urban areas. An explorative survey was carried out on households to find out the energy consumption pattern with respect to socio demographic and geographic factors in some parts of Khulna district of Bangladesh. The study exclusively conducted on low income groups of Sonadanga and Phultala thana of Khulna district. The study revealed that the urban poor are highly dependent on traditional fuel such as fuel wood, cow dung, charcoal, rice husk, sawdust etc. It is seen that about 43% households use fuel wood as their primary fuel choice; where as in rural area about 49% households use cow dung as their primary fuel for domestic purpose. In urban area 51.4% of energy comes from fuel wood which is locally available in market. It is important to denote that mobile shop play a vital role as energy carrier for urban poor. Here mobile shop is a vehicle that carry chopped wood move from one area to another and sells this fuel from door to door. On the contrary, about 31% of energy comes from cow dung in rural area and 23.8% comes from agricultural residues. It is seen that in urban area the more the number of family member the increase the amount of expenditure where options of collecting fuel are limited. Households having family member seven to twelve spent highest amount that is about more than 200 BDT per month. On the contrary having a large family, rural poor people spent less than 100 BDT per month. So it is clearly revealed from the study that rural people had to spend less on purchasing of fuel than that of in urban area. Locally available cow dung and leaves, twigs is used mostly low income households. Per capita energy use of low income groups is nearly same, which indicate pattern of food habit and use of end-use device efficiency doesn’t differ much in different income group. The supply of household energy is as critical to basic needs as food, shelter and health. To ensure a sustainable supply of energy for household sector there must be planned development of biomass fuels which are in scarce supply in Bangladesh. Biomass energy is any kind of energy that uses a biological organism (plant or animal) as its source. As the low income households of study area are dependent on biomass fuels at major scale, the energy policy in Bangladesh should be emphasized on biomass issues. It should be the major part of the national energy policy of Bangladesh. Over use of biomass fuels collected from homestead forests and agricultural lands leads extreme environmental degradation. As the excessive growth of the population is increasingly fragmenting the agricultural and homestead lands in the rural areas, it is mostly unrealistic to have the sustainable supply of biomass fuels in current situation for fulfilling the demands of biomass energy in Bangladesh.

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