Evaluation of baseline firewood consumption for domestic cooking in low-income rural households in Bahia, Brazil
ABSTRACT Firewood is still a major source of household energy in most parts of the world, including Brazil. This study establishes baseline fuelwood consumption for domestic cooking by rural families in Bahia, Brazil, as part of a socioenvironmental project centered on stove substitution. The project, titled “Fogão do Mar” (Seaside Stove), engaged families in adopting more efficient stoves to replace the traditional open-air, rudimentary models. The study involved household visits and interviews with 103 low-income rural families to estimate firewood consumption for domestic cooking. The results showed that all households have liquid petroleum gas (LPG) stove, but most of the families prefer to use a firewood stove for cooking. The annual per capita consumption of firewood was estimated to be 1,297±952 kg, which is higher than estimate by governmental data (560 kg), as well as other rural regions. Therefore, the consumption of firewood is regionalized. Economic factors are decisive in the choice of fuel for cooking.