Determinants of households choice of energy for cooking in Liberia
Vinton, Rudi Sieh
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This study examined factors that determine household choice of energy for cooking in Liberia using the 2016 Household Income and Expenditure data obtained from the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS). Basically, the study objective was to determine are the demographic and socioeconomic factors that influence households’ choice of energy for cooking. The study considered households major energy choice use for cooking using multinomial logit model. Factors that significantly affected household choice of energy for cooking in the study were education level completed, occupation, per capita expenditure, house ownership, house type, residence and region. The study findings provide evidence that as household head attain higher education level - primary (-0.68, p=0.004), senior and above (-0.836, p=0.024) the less likely that household will use firewood and the more likely their choice energy for cooking is nonsolid fuel - primary (2.04, p=0.032), senior and above (3.176, p=0.022). Furthermore, findings show that as household per capita expenditure increases – L$4,000 to 7,999 (-0.841, p=0.00) or higher L$13,000 and above (1.207, p=0.00) – they are less likely to use firewood for cooking. Moreover, households living in rented dwelling are less likely to depend on nonsolid fuel and firewood. For household head occupation, ‘paid employee’ is significant (-22.02, p=0.002) and show that they are less likely to use nonsolid fuel. In contrast, household with paid employee’s household head is significant and more likely to use firewood. Estimate for ‘self-employed agriculture, unpaid family worker, apprentice’ is significant (0.747p=0.002) and signifies those households are more likely to use firewood. Ownership is significant for only rented/employer subsidized where ‘owned’ is the reference category. The results show that households renting are less likely to use nonsolid fuel and firewood for cooking. Also, households dwelling in mud bricks (-0.704, p=0.000) and concrete cement (-0.98, p=0.000) houses are less likely to use firewood. Residence showed that people dwelling in rural communities (2.69, p=0.000) are more like susceptible to using firewood. Also, majority of the regions (North Central, North Western, South Eastern A and South Eastern B) showed a high dependence on firewood (p=0.000). Based on the empirical findings, there is a need to expand electricity power grid including the availability of other nonsolid fuel to households at a reduce cost given the severity of firewood consumption which can have environment and social impact on communities. Finally, policy makers should ensure quality educational programs is accessible to people in all the regions that are highly dependent on firewood for cooking given that people with higher education change to efficient energy for cooking needs.