International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Adoptions of Improved Biomass Cook Stoves by Households: an Example from Homabay County
Isaiah K. Okuthe, Erick N. Akotsi

The aim of the study was to examine the influence of socio cultural factors on the adoption of improved cook stoves in Homabay County, Kenya. The economic, social, ecological and environmental roles and benefits of forests are obvious and need no emphasis. Inefficient use of fuel wood is considered one of the main causes of deforestation. Use of more efficient improved cook stoves is proposed as one of the measures that can reduce demand for fuel wood and charcoal and help in lowering the annoying deforestation rate in many developing countries. During the 2000s several programs aiming at testing and disseminating energy saving technologies were implemented in Kenya. One of these technologies was improved cook stove (ICSs), which was intended to increase the efficiency of using energy from biomass sources. The global focus on ICS and clean fuels has increased because of their potential for delivering the triple dividends: household health, local environment quality and regional climate benefits. However, ICS and clean fuel dissemination programs have been met with low rates of adoption. This study was carried out to examine the adoption rate and the factors affecting adoption of improved cook stoves in Homabay County. The study is based on primary data collected through personal interviews with husbands and wives in 220 randomly selected households. In Kenya all the household domestic tasks, particularly food preparation and related activities, are considered women's responsibilities and all the decisions related to them are taken by women. An ex-post-facto survey design which utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection was used in the study. For quantitative data collection, a sample of 220 small scale farmers selected using systematic random sampling from the small scale farmers in the Division were engaged. For qualitative data, 40 small scale farmers and 37 Key Informants selected using purposive sampling from the division were used. The results showed that the device's adoption rate is low. Results of the study indicated that households’ education status, gender, cosmopoliteness, leadership status, cultural beliefs and social norms were important variables which had positively and significantly influenced adoption of improved cook stoves. The overall finding of the study underlined the high importance in strengthening social groups to enhance adoption of improved cook stoves. The study will be significant to planners, policy makers, researchers, extension and farmers to build the case for interventions on improved cook stoves.

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