oa Africa Insight - The energy crisis in rural Ciskei

Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



In the last decade, developing countries have faced three related energy problems. Firstly, there has been a steep rise in the price of imported energy. Secondly, traditional sources of energy (firewood, charcoal, dung and agricultural waste) required to meet basic domestic needs, such as cooking, heating and lighting have become scarcer and more costly. Rapid population growth has resulted in such an increase in the consumption of traditional fuels that the natural regeneration of natural resources has become inadequate. Fuelwood collection and the felling of forests for commercial purposes have led to rapid deforestation, soil erosion, the silting-up of rivers and general soil depletion. Thirdly, the rural and urban sectors need additional energy if they are to increase productivity and provide essential services.

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