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EMMA Pilot Test 4: Key Findings and Recommendations, Firewood Market System

Jalozai Camp, North West Frontier Province
February, 2009

Conflict between the Taliban and Pakistani military forces in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), including the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, has led to a mass movement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to host communities and camps in safer surrounding districts. The overall socio-economic indicators in the IDP camps are dismal, largely due to inadequate health facilities, insufficient education opportunities and poor hygiene and sanitation amenities, compounded with a host of protection issues.

This EMMA pilot was conducted to investigate the effect of the IDP crisis on the firewood and tomato market systems in Jalozai Camp, 30 km outside of Peshawar. This report presents the results of the firewood market system study only. The study compared how the market system was functioning in the Peshawar-Pabbi area prior to the arrival of the IDPs with how it functioned following the influx.

Private wood lots and forests are the main sources of formal production of firewood, since the Ministry of Forestry has curbed sales of lumber from government land in recent years out of concerns about deforestation. Contractor loggers act as wholesalers and the main dealers in the firewood market, while retailers bring the firewood closer to the Pabbi area. The main problems that impede the function of the market system are deforestation and subsequent limitations on availability through government/public lands, a gradual decrease of demand due to alternate fuels for household cooking, especially in urban areas and wide-spread illegal scavenging of wood in rural or poor areas.

Since the crisis, there has been a surge in scavenging for firewood as a source of both fuel and income by IDPs, who have very limited disposable income. This has put high pressure on the natural resources surrounding the camp and has had negative social consequences, especially for children who are skipping school in order to look for wood. Because most IDPs are scavenging their wood for free, there has not been a notable increase in demand in local firewood markets, nor a change in prices. This report questions the capacity of the local market system to supply firewood in the volume needed by IDPs.

This report recommends the promotion of fuel efficient cooking techniques; providing fuel as an incentive for school attendance; and promoting firewood distribution with better environmental protection mechanisms.

Report authors: 
Dee Goluba
Download Report (878.6 KB pdf)