3. General Comments on the existing data on wood fuels.
In all the three data collection exercises in Namibia since independence, all have used structured questionnaires. It can therefore be assumed that differences in results if significant, could stem from factors such as, different sampling intensities; the number of people interviewed the number of regions covered and even the season when the survey was conducted. For example, in the study by Ministry of Energy which was published in 1996 100 households were covered in 8 regions of Namibia, whereas the study by the Directorate of Forestry interviewed a total of 970 people and concentrated mostly in towns; Windhoek and the major fuel wood using towns of the north in Ovambo and Kavango (Rundu).
The data has not been segregated by seasons, especially between summer and winter months that could reveal seasonal demand changes.
All the studies were limited by costs, hence the number of people interviewed were also limited. Some attempts at population stratification by income groups before or during sampling, as was done in Windhoek (Klaeboe and Omwami, 1997) would have revealed more should it have been done all over Namibia. The study by Ministry of Energy (Wamukonya 1997) attempted to differentiate between respondents; hence the data was consistently segregated by socio-economic status.
It is interesting to note that the study commissioned by Forestry (Klaeboe and Omwami, 1997), indicated a daily per capita consumption of firewood in the towns at 0.55 kg, which is quite close to that of 0.587 kg than that by Ministry of Energy (Wamukonya 1997). However, Klaeboe and Omwami (1997) showed much higher estimates for commercial consumption of firewood in the Windhoek Main Users (0.83 kg) and northern towns of Ovambo (0.69 kg) and Rundu (1.08 kg).