Working Paper
Modeling Fuel Choice Among Households in Northern Cameroon

The present study aims to explore economic and socio-demographic factors that influence the household’s probability to switch from firewood to clean fuels in northern Cameroon. The paper employs an ordered probit model to construct cooking patterns and fuel choices. Three main cooking sources are considered, such as firewood, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas. Utilized data come from the national survey conducted in 2004 by Cameroonian National Institute of Statistics. The study analyzes the data related to the Sudano-Sahelian agro-ecological zone which is one of the most affected by land degradation and desertification. Results indicate that transition from traditional to clean and efficient fuels are still at an initial stage in the studied region. The research shows that income, firewood, and kerosene prices, age of household heads, their educational level and willingness to have a gas cylinder, as well as type of dwelling have a significant impact on fuel switching. The study recommends that government policy should be in the direction of providing targeted social transfer programs rather than supporting fuel subsidies. A necessary attention is also needed in terms of educating people towards adoption of clean fuels in rural areas.