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Old 06-02-2008, 07:32 AM
even sven even sven is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: DC
Posts: 19,401
Having lived in a country where both wood and charcoal are the main forms of cooking....

Transport is a big part of it. In the sahel, at least, a city or large village is going to be surrounded by a large deforested area before you get to a place where you can cut down wood. After that, you have to bring the wood into town, usually on your head or in a small push cart. A day's worth of work may only yield a week or so's worth of firewood for a normal family. Searching for/buying wood takes a lot of time and energy- for example, when public buses enter a town they will usually stop in a small village so that people on the bus can buy some wood. So people in small villages will create charcoal and sell it in large villages and cities to people who are looking for fuel that is easy to buy in quantity, easy to store, and easy to cook with.