Wood fuel in Kano, Nigeria: the urban-rural conflict

R. A. Cline-Cole, J. A. Falola, H. A.C. Main, M. J. Mortimore, Janet Elizabeth Nichol, F. D. O'Reilly

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper presents an account of the changes that have occurred in the wood fuel hinterland of Kano during the past two decades and in particular the demands of urban energy needs on rural areas. It became apparent that several factors account for the preservation of trees in areas close to the urban centre. First, rising prices of firewood, together with subsidised petrol costs, have made the increased distance acceptable to merchants. Second, resistance to woodcutting by the local farmers has stabilised offtake within the local hinterland. Such resistance can be explained in terms of the alternative use value of trees and local government restrictions on woodcutting. Third, consumer wood preferences, popular tree species are scarce in the local hinterland and thus demand has forced firewood cutters to move to distant areas where the species are available. This long term study shows how urban demands for fuelwood have affected local resource management systems. The burden of providing for urban demand has been effectively shifted from the inner close-settled zone to the further Kano region, but without deforestation of the near areas. The fuel hinterland of Kano has widened, with merchants taking advantage of improvements in the transport infrastructure, intensifying motor traffic and subsidised fuel costs. -from Authors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-72
Number of pages14
JournalForest policies, forest politics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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