The Niger Household Energy Project. Promoting Rural Fuelwood Markets and Village Management of Natural Woodlands
A radical new strategy for dealing with the problems of energy and the environment in the Sahel is being implemented in Niger. Rather than have urban wood traders go into the countryside to cut the wood and truck it back to the cities, the government is giving village communities control over their natural woodlands in return for a commitment to manage the woodlands and the production of fuelwood sustainability. This paper details the rationale, history, and prospects of this innovative energy strategy. It describes local physical and socioeconomic conditions, with particular attention to the "tiger bush" that forms much of Niger's natural woodland. If the strategy can be expanded, it will have potential for replication over much of the Sahel and other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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