Land Use Change, Biomass Supply and Health Outcomes in Uganda

Pamela Jagger, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gerald Shively, Purdue University

Households in developing countries rely on biomass fuels to provide energy for cooking. While fuel supplies have traditionally been sourced from forests and woodlands, rapid population growth and high rates of deforestation are changing the quantity, type and source of biomass fuels households rely on. We use data from a two-wave panel of 400 households to examine the influence of land use change on fuel use. We find a decline in total fuel used over time. We also find that poor households are integrating crop residues into their fuel portfolios whereas relatively wealthy households use charcoal. We then explore how different biomass fuels influence the incidence of acute respiratory infection (ARI) for approximately 1000 women and children. We find an association between burning of crop residues, use of traditional stoves, and cooking in unventilated kitchens and ARI. Our findings have implications for targeting supply-side interventions that target biomass fuel supplies.

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Presented in Session 135: Environmental Effects on Human Capital