while 5 percent used cow dung (Banerjee, 2016; Dheerendra et al., 2016). Another study by Behera et al., (2015) found out that 73 percent relied on fuel wood for cooking in India, 90 percent in Nepal and 98 percent in Bangladesh. Our study revealed that fuel wood was preferred by all the respondents despite their status.
According to (Veremachi, et al, 2016; Jadhav et al, 2017) findings on the level of education and use of energy did not support energy ladder studies that argue that the level of education influences the type of energy household uses for cooking.
Another study carried out in Burkina Faso by Arevalo, (2016) found out that energy use did not shift with the rise of income per household but the availability of fuel wood was a major factor for its preference. Uhunamure et al., (2017) found that even the highly educated participants used fuel wood in cooking to supplement electricity because it was cheaper than other sources of energy for cooking. Most of the respondents got fuel wood from their farms and was a natural source of energy (Uhunamure et al.
, 2017). Interestingly, our study had similar findings that education and status never influenced the energy for cooking for rural households. Keles et al., (2017) projected that fuel wood would be on the increase in most of developing Countries by 2020, the population in Africa will have increased from 806 million people to 823 million people, Asia would have 136 in 2020 and increase to 145 by 2030 while in other countries there would be a decrease like Latin America would be 86 million in 2020 and decrease to 72 million by 2030
The current study established that 2 percent used kerosene for cooking while another 6 percent used kerosene with other sources for cooking.
The study established that kerosene was the least preferred source of energy for cooking probably because rural households must purchase kerosene and it was costly compared to fuel wood and charcoal.
Previous studies are consistent with the current study that kerosene was an alternative to biomass but not a major source of energy for cooking (Ganesnan and Neppolian, 2014). In contrast, over 80 percent households in Djibouti use kerosene as a primary source of energy for cooking. Kerosene was established to be widely used yet it is among the polluting fuels that should be discouraged (WHO, 2016).
In India, LPG was used by a small proportion of the population, India imports LPG and the cost was influenced by global market prices while traditional sources were locally available (Ranjan and Singh, 2017). There were no respondents utilizing LPG in our study implying that this source of energy was not available at the study site. Marketing of renewable sources of energy seems to be low in Muusini Location. The results also confirm that clean energy for rural households in Kenya was not a priority during planning and development of resource allocation as revealed by Vezzoli et al., (2018).
Our study was not consistent with the energy ladder theory that charcoal use was a transition to cleaner sources of energy. Mixed fuel and energy ladder theories argue that energy demand depends on status but our study found that fuel choice was determined by supply. A study carried out by Bensch et al., (2015), found that 99 percent of households used firewood regardless of electrification. In Kenya and Ethiopia similar findings of rich families using charcoal for cooking was reported by (Ngetha et al., 2015; Mekonnen et al., 2017).
Previous studies that supported energy ladder include Malla and Timilsina, (2017) where education, size of the household and income determined the source of energy in rural households. Energy ladder studies argue that charcoal is used as a transition to cleaner sources of energy. A study by Mensah and Adu, (2013) confirmed that energy use was in line with energy ladder theory, the rich used charcoal instead of gas and the number was expected to increase by 2030.
In Kenya, the policy guiding utilization, management and development of forestry and woodlands is spread in several sectors. Sectors involved include energy, environment, agriculture and forestry with a strategy of eliminating fuel wood and kerosene by 2022. Unfortunately, it is illegal to produce and transport charcoal in rural areas while it is legal to sell charcoal in urban centers (Sola et al., 2019).
Plate 5.4: Photo of lantern lamp used for lighting at night by most of Muusini rural households.
5.7: Sources of lighting in Muusini rural households
Majority of the rural households depend on kerosene as source of energy for lighting at night. The light is not equally distributed in all direction and may affect the eyes. The glass needs constant cleaning because of the soot produced during combustion. The above glass indicates that the light may be deem thus affecting the quality of light in the room. Lantern lamb can only be used in one room while other rooms remain dark. The cost of kerosene is influenced by world market price and it is costly because Kenya has to import. Study hours at night for pupils rely on the availability of money to purchase kerosene implying that pupils from households with low income may not do their homework or have extra hours to study at night and this affects their performance. The current source of lighting does not promote extra working hours at night because it is expensive and provides lighting to a specific room.
Plate 5.5: Photo of solar panel mounted on Iron- sheet rooftop.
5.8: Solar PV system
Plate 5.5 shows a solar panel mounted on rooftop that the owner utilized for harvesting water too. Scarcity of local roofing material and water shortage have contributed to iron-sheet roofing adaptation in Muusini location which is an advantage for installing solar PV systems on rooftops. Majority of the respondents require money for purchasing PV systems only because they already have iron-sheet rooftops. There were few respondents who had installed solar PV systems during the time of the study. Use of solar energy would avoid maladaptation like use of Energy- intensive water source for power production that would be affected by the frequent droughts in the area of study. Dilling et al., (2017) argues that drought was a challenge in areas where hydropower was the source of electricity generation because of the frequent droughts. Makueni County is vulnerable to droughts and may require other sources of renewable energy.