Fast-growing exotic tree species as fuelwood alternative for refugees and host communities in Northern Uganda

Preprint Authors: Decomin Anywar, Kato Stonewall Shaban, Richard Louis Labeja, Robert Okongo Loki


The high demand for firewood and charcoal has exerted high pressure on the indigenous trees in Uganda. Communities believe that the indigenous trees are better fuel sources despite limited evidence to support this claim. This study was carried out in 2021 to evaluate the fuelwood properties of selected indigenous tree species in comparison to three exotic tree species that have been promoted for use by refugees and host communities in Lamwo District of Northern Uganda. Wood samples were collected from three different locations from the study area in Lamwo District and transported to Gulu University for laboratory analysis of their physical and chemical properties. Data were analysed using one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) at 5% level of confidence and the means were separated using Tukey HSD test. Results showed that moisture content, fixed carbon, volatile matter, and Fuel Value Index (FVI) did not significantly vary among the indigenous and exotic tree species. Fuel value index was observed to be negatively correlated with moisture content of the wood, implying both species’ categories retard in fuel quality when their moisture contents increases. Overall, the results show that there were no significant differences in the FVI of all the indegeneous and exotic tree species investigated in this study. It is recommended that fast-growing exotic species such as Eucalyptus grandis, Caliandra calothyrsus, and Senna siamea that are grown in the region be promoted to ensure regeneration and reduction of pressure on the use of natural forest.

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