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Olusegun Martins Orifah, Messiah Chijioke Ijeoma, Gloria Isi Omokhudu, Gabriel T. Ahungwa and Bashir Garba Muktar

Abstract

Use of biomass energy is on the increase in rural areas of Nigeria, and its use poses serious environmental challenges. The study assessed the awareness of the environmental implications associated with the unsustainable use of biomass energy sources among rural households in Jigawa State, Nigeria. Multistage sampling procedure was used to select 120 respondents for the study using structured questionnaire. Collected data were analysed using descriptive (frequency counts, percentage, mean, and rank) and inferential statistics (chi-squared test). The result revealed that the majority of the respondents were male (94.2%), married (90.8%), and between 31 to 40 years, with a mean age of 39.8 years. Results further revealed that the majority of the respondents were farmers (56.7%), had Qur’anic education (71.7%), and earned a monthly income of N10,000–N20,999 (52.5%), with a mean monthly income of ₦13,816.67. Use of fuel wood (100%) and charcoal (100%) were the dominant biomass energy sources used. Results at the level of awareness revealed that the majority of the respondents (80.8%) had low awareness of the environmental implications associated with the unsustainable use of biomass energy sources. The respondents’ main source of information on the environmental implications associated with the unsustainable use of biomass energy sources were radio (64.17%) and extension agents (54.2%). The high cost of other alternatives, scarcity of refilling stations, scarcity of the alternatives, and lack of funds to purchase other alternatives are some of the major constraint bedevilling the use of non-solid energy sources. Level of education (χ2 = 6.584; p < 0.1) and average monthly income (χ2 = 8.277; p < 0.1) were significantly related to awareness of the environmental implication of the unsustainable use of biomass energy. It is therefore recommended that people should be enlightened on the environmental implications associated with the unsustainable use of biomass energy sources. Furthermore, policies favouring a switch of energy source should be considered.