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Factors Influencing Households' Firewood Consumption in the Western Pamirs, Tajikistan
Mountain Research and Development, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 147-156
Firewood is a major energy source, especially in many high mountainous regions in developing countries where other energy sources are limited. In the mountainous regions of Tajikistan, current energy consumption is limited owing to geographic isolation and numerous challenges—including in the energy sector—that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Tajikistan's independence. The sudden disruption of external supplies of energy forced people to rely on locally available but scarce biomass resources, such as firewood and animal dung. We conducted an empirical study to gain an understanding of current household energy consumption in the Western Pamirs of Tajikistan and the factors that influence firewood consumption. For this purpose, we interviewed members of 170 households in 8 villages. We found that, on average, households consumed 355 kg of firewood, 253 kWh of electricity, 760 kg of dung, and 6 kg of coal per month in the winter of 2011–2012. Elevation, size of a household's private garden, and total hours of heating had a positive relationship with firewood consumption, and education level and access to a reliable supply of electricity showed a negative relationship.