Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Indigenous knowledge on fuel wood (charcoal and/or firewood) plant species used by the local people in and around the semi-arid Awash National Park, Ethiopia

Tinsae Bahru1*, Zemede Asfaw2 and Sebsebe Demissew2
1Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Forestry Research Center (FRC), Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) Case Team, P.O.Box 30708, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 2The National Herbarium, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Addis Ababa University, P.O.Box 3434, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 January 2012
  •  Published: 31 March 2012


Fuel wood (charcoal and/or firewood) species used by the Afar and Oromo (Kereyu and Ittu) Nations in and around the semi-arid Awash National Park (ANP), Ethiopia was conducted ethnobotanically. The study aimed to investigate and document various aspects of indigenous knowledge (IK) on fuel wood species and their associated threats. A total of 96 informants between the ages of 20 and 80 were selected using prior information. Data were collected using semi-structured interview, guided field walk, discussions and field observation. Preference ranking, paired comparison, Jaccard’s coefficient of similarity and priority ranking were applied for data analysis. A total of 100 species belonging to 71 genera and 38 families were collected within the study area. Of these, 10 species were reported by the Afar Nation, 11 by the Oromo Nation and the rest by both of them. Family Fabaceae was represented by the highest number of fuel wood species, which accounted for 20%. From 27 species used for charcoal and firewood production, 11 species (40.7%) belonged to the genus Acacia. Preference ranking and paired comparison showed that Acacia tortilis is the most selected Acacia species as perceived by key informants within the park for charcoal production. Overgrazing, followed by deforestation were the major threats in the study area, which scored 21.7% and 19.9%, respectively.


Key words: Acacia species, ANP, charcoal, Ethiopia, IK.