THE ENERGY–POVERTY NEXUS: VULNERABILITY OF THE URBAN AND PERI-URBAN HOUSEHOLDS TO ENERGY POVERTY IN ARBA-MINCH TOWN, SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA
The study was conducted in Southern Ethiopia with the objective of investigating the linkages between domestic energy consumption
and income poverty among households residing both in and surrounding parts of Arba-Minch town. The research design is mainly based
on the quantitative methods and complemented with the qualitative ones. For the purpose of the study, 658 sample households have been
selected from in and around the town based on random sampling design and the field data were collected using questionnaires, focus group discussions and interviews with relevant individuals. Data on the consumption of energy sources for this study were gathered in terms of expenditures (ETB) which were later converted to energy heat values measured in terms of MJ. The study examines the relevance of energy switching and fuel stacking models and the findings of this research provide insights for slow energy transition prospect in household energy use. The finding of the study indicated households do not simply substitute one fuel for another as household income increases. Regardless of their economic status, the majority of households depended on wood fuels as their primary source of cooking energy. The study reveals that commercial cooking fuels become increasingly expensive. It is becoming difficult to obtain affordable energy technologies that convert energy to useful services. A significant portion of urban and peri-urban households continue to suffer as their incomes have not kept pace with the rising prices. Therefore, for the majority of households, meeting the energy requirement in a sustainable manner continues to be a major challenge. Increasing end-use efficiency should be given greater emphasis as an important prerequisite by employing proper end-use technologies to change households’ cooking practices so that household energy-related problems tackled and energy can lead to more equitable sustainable livelihoods.