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close this book Measuring drought and drought impacts in Red Sea Province
close this folder 8. Changes in tree density on five sites in Red Sea Province: early 1960s to 1989. Roy Cole
View the document Summary
View the document Introduction
View the document Methods used in the study
View the document The study sites
View the document Results
View the document Conclusion
View the document Discussion
View the document Limitation of the study
View the document References
View the document Appendix 10.1. Charcoal dealers by quarter and size class, Port Sudan, August 1988.
View the document Appendix 10.2. Total stock of charcoal per class of dealer by quarter, Port Sudan, August 1988.
View the document Appendix 10.3. Some characteristics of charcoal production and trade.

8. Changes in tree density on five sites in Red Sea Province: early 1960s to 1989. Roy Cole

 

Summary

The object of the study was to determine the impact of human land use and drought on the density of trees in selected areas of Red Sea Province. five sites were examined during June and July 1989 for changes in tree density over the last 25 years. Density of trees was first counted from aerial photographs of the sites taken during the early 1960s then field work was carried out to determine the present density.

Tree density on the sites decreased greatly on three sites, decreased moderately on one site, and increased slightly on one site between the two time periods. Decline in tree density was due principally to human activities: charcoal and firewood production for market, land settlement, and land use intensification. Whatever impact recent drought may have had on the trees in the study sites was masked by human impacts. The author recommends that before any given land use development interventions are undertaken in Red Sea Province, research should be conducted to determine the long- and short-term environmental and social impacts of that development.

 

Introduction

The purpose of the present study was to assess the impact of increased resource use and drought on vegetation in five areas of Red Sea Province by comparing recent tree density counts with counts obtained from aerial photographs of the same areas taken twenty-five years ago. The tree is important to the dry season survival of all livestock in Red Sea Province. In many mountain, khor and delta areas of the province trees remain green throughout the year; these areas make up the dry season redoubt of pastoralism. Change in the densities of Red Sea Province's tree population has serious and long-term consequences for the pastoral system as a whole.

The issue of the human impact on trees is central to the present study in that, with the exception of a hypothetically severe and prolonged drought, the trees in Red Sea Province should enjoy a safe existence. The growth in human population, particularly Port Sudan, and the consequent increased demand for charcoal, firewood, kiln-fired bricks and pottery, bread, and building material has changed all this and traditional sanctions against destruction of the forest resource have been relaxed in principle and abolished in practice as the rural areas of Red Sea Province have been incorporated into Port Sudan's economic hinterland and structured to supply its needs.

Traditionally, the pastoral economy in Red Sea Province has been dependent upon two natural resources: annual and perennial vegetation. During the rainy, or flooding, season when protein-rich annual vegetation is available livestock make weight gains, reproduce, and provide the greatest quantities of milk. During the dry season when all vegetation except trees and some shrubs dies or dries up, livestock experience weight loss and low production. Any change in the availability of any of the pastoral resources in one season has implications for the survival of livestock in the other season and, if the change is severe enough, for the land use system itself. In some ways, perennial vegetation is more important than annual vegetation in Red Sea Province. When there is a drought and no annual pasture production, it is to the perennial vegetation that the livestock turn for survival. In the dry season, however, there is no alternative. If anything happens to impair dry season fodder production the pastoral system will be weakened.

 

Methods used in the study

Five sites in Red Sea Province were chosen to compare present tree densities with densities counted from vertical aerial photographs of the same sites at a scale of 1:40000 in the early 1960s. Map 8.1 below shows the distribution of the study sites around the province.

The first two sites were chosen because of their proximity to Port Sudan and urban demand. The third, fourth and fifth sites, on Khors Oko, Sitareb, and Nubahawayb were chosen for their distance from Port Sudan. The Khor Oko site is located on the other side of the Red Sea Hills northwest of Port Sudan in one of the most thinly populated, remote and arid parts of the Province. The Khor Sitareb site is located south-southwest of Port Sudan in a remote mountain valley on a minor tributary of Khor Sitareb. Site five, in a minor tributary of Khor Nubahawayb, is located on the western periphery of the Khor 'Udrus charcoal production zone west-southwest of Port Sudan. It should be emphasised that the study sites were not selected to be representative of the whole of Red Sea Province and any statements made in this paper refer only to the study sites.

Two criteria were used in selecting the sites from the 1:40000 photographs:

1. Individual trees had to be distinguishable on the photos but not too dense to cause clumping.

2. The location of the study sites had to be in areas where change in khor flow could not be responsible for changes in tree density. Expansive floodplains with wandering watercourses were avoided and sites were chosen in relatively narrow valleys where landforms controlled flow in a stable fashion.


Map 8.1. The study sliest

The trees were counted on the photographs using a 30X illuminated magnifying scope. In the field all vegetation was enumerated with the exception of the ubiquitous Indigofera spinosa and Aloe abyssinica on Site Five. In the calculation of density, however, only trees with a crown diameter greater than one meter were included because trees one meter or less in diameter were not visible on the aerial photographs. The minimum resolvable diameter was calculated by measuring railroad carriages on the photographs (2.5 by 11 meters) and comparing the measured distance with visible tree crowns. Annual or perennial ground cover, where occurring, was not enumerated as being not pertinent to the study.

 

The study sites

The Khor Akwaat sites

The Khor Akwaat sites are situated in middle Khor Akwaat above Sallum Station 30 kilometres southwest of Port Sudan in Rural Port Sudan District. For each site in Khor Akwaat we selected an area 1000 meters square. From each of these areas we selected three strips parallel to the Khor each 100 meters wide and 1000 meters long in which the trees were to be counted. The first, fourth and ninth strips were chosen to be measured; one strip on the edge, one in the middle and on the end of each block. At the Akwaat site the east-west dimensions of the study areas were found by measuring the distance of the telegraph poles along the railway. A Landrover was used to measure the north-south dimension. The map located on the following page shows the Khor Akwaat study area.


Map 8.2. The Khor Akwaat study site.

The Khor Oko site

The Khor Oko study site is located 170 kilometres west-northwest of Port Sudan on the western side of the Red Sea hills in Halaib District. This remote area is one of the driest in the region. Practically all vegetation is confined to khor beds and water lines. Because of the relatively low density of vegetation and its homogeneity along Khor Oko, a 500 square meter block was chosen randomly from the aerial photographs of the vegetated course of Khor Oko. A 1:250000 false-colour Landsat image was used to locate the study site in the difficult terrain and the 1:40000 photograph of the study area was used to define the location of the site more precisely. The dimensions of this site were measured with ropes 500 meters in length. The map on the following page shows the Khor Oko study area.


Map 8.3. The Khor Oko study site.

The Khor Sitareb site

The Khor Sitareb study site is located on the eastern side of the khor on a minor tributary near the source of Khor Sitareb. This site is 140 kilometres south-southwest from Port Sudan in North Tokar District. A strip 500 meters long and 100 meters wide was chosen from the 1:40000 photographs as the Sitareb study site. The site is located along the east bank of the tributary and extends 500 meters to the west. The 500 meter long strip was divided into 5 onehectare squares using ropes and the trees were counted on a hectare by hectare basis. Map 8.4 on the next page illustrates the situation of this site.


Map 8.4. The Khor Sitareb Study site.

The Khor Nubahawayb site

This site is located on a minor tributary of Khor Nubahawayb. It is located 115 kilometres west-southwest of Port Sudan in Rural Port Sudan District. A study area of 2 hectares was chosen from this minor khor, transecting it at the point just before it leaves the mountains to join sandy Khor Nubahawayb and the sandy 'Udrus basin. The map on the following page presents the site in detail.


Map 8.5. The Khor Nubahawayb study site.

 

Results

Change in tree densities on the five sites varied; for three sites the change was dramatic and negative, for one site change was moderately negative, and for one site change was slightly positive. The greatest differences were for those sites closest to Port Sudan. The following table presents the counts from the aerial photographs and ground observation for all five sites.

Table 8.1. Tree counts on five sites In Red Sea Province, 1960s and 1989.

Site Percent

 

1960s

6/7 1989

 

Change

1. Khor Akwaat Site One

Line 1 293

47

-246

-84

Line 2 279

95

-184

-66

Line 3 252

136

-116

-46

2. Khor Akwaat Site Two

Line 1

274

0

-274

-100

Line 2

246

0

-246

-100

Line 3

228

123

-105

-46

3. Khor Oko

54

36

-18

-33

4. Khor Sitareb

108

112

4

4

5. Khor Nubahawayb

159

139

-20

-13

Table 8.2 below presents a summary of the site results and an additional variable, distance from Port Sudan.

Table 8.2. Percent change In tree density, early 1960s to 1989, by site and distance from Port Sudan.

Site

Percent

Distance from

 

Change

Port Sudan

Sites One and Two

-59

30

Site Five

-13

115

Site Four

+4

140

Site Three

-33

170

 

Khor Akwaat

As is evident from Table 8.1, there have been some dramatic changes in tree density and distribution in the Akwaat study area since the early 1960s. All of this change has been negative.

Average density for Site One dropped 66 percent during the 25 year period The drop in Site Two over the same period was 84 percent. The decrease in density was not distributed equally over the three lines of each site. There was an 84, a 66, and a 46 percent decrease in the tree densities of lines one, two and three respectively of Site One. The change for Site Two was dramatic for lines one and two. These lines each decreased 100 percent. Line three decreased 46 percent.

In 1963 the trees were denser near the khor and became less dense with distance from the khor. In Site One at that time density dropped 13 percent from lines one to three. In Site Two as well, density dropped 17 percent from lines one to three. In 1989 this situation was reversed. Although overall density declined throughout the transects, the relative density of trees today is greater with distance from the khor. Line one in Site One in 1989 contained 65 percent less trees than line three. In Site Two the difference between 1963 and 1989 was 100 percent less. The figures below illustrate these differences.


Figure 8.1. Tree densities on site one in 1963 and 1989.


Figure 8.2. Tree densities on site two In 1963 and 1989.

Khor Oko

The site in Khor Oko had a 33 percent decline in tree density from the 1965 to 1989. The following figure illustrates both distributions.


Figure 8.3. Tree densities on site three In 1965 and 1989.

Khor Sitareb

The pattern of vegetation change at the Khor Sitareb site was one of slight increase. The figure below presents the densities for both periods.


Figure 8.4. Tree densities on site four in 1965 and 1989.

Khor Nubahawayb

Tree density declined modestly on site five. The figure below presents the results for this site.


Figure 8.6. Tree densities on site five In 1965 and 1989.

 

Conclusion

Substantial negative changes in the density of trees were measured on three study sites. a moderate decrease was found on one study site, and a slight increase was found on one study site in Red Sea Province. The cause of the decline in tree density is probably related more to human activities than drought, however, the effects of drought were impossible to measure given the degree of change attributable to human land use activities.

 

Discussion

There is no area in Red Sea Province in which the resources are not used in some way by people From local firewood consumption, local firewood and charcoal production for export, village bakeries, to the Tokar wood-fired brickworks, the demands made on: natural- resources in Red Sea Province are great and are increasing as population grows. The marginal nature of the physical environment of Red Sea Province presents limitations to unremitting use.

The results of the present study (see Vetaas 1989 for similar results from elsewhere in the province) suggest that where human impacts are low there may be little change in tree density since the 1960s. Negligible impacts are clearly associated with remote areas and low human and livestock populations Changes in tree densities and the agents and processes of change will be discussed: in the section below. The study sites will be treated in the same order as they were presented above.

Khor Akwaat

There are three related processes responsible for the decline in tree density in the areas studied in Khor Akwaat.

1. Urbanisation.

2. Land settlement.

3. Agricultural intensification..

Urbanisation

Urban demand has existed in the area for a long time. It is likely that residents of Suakin cut trees in Khor Akwaat in recent centuries. Greatest urban demand, however, has come most recently since the Second World War and particularly during the last twenty years from Port Sudan. It was during the last twenty years that a market-oriented firewood and charcoal infrastructure based on the souk lorry developed.

Since that time, Khor Akwaat has become a source area for fuelwood and the principal linkage to the Khor 'Udrus and Agwampt basins, two of the most important sources of charcoal in recent years for Port Sudan.

A possible explanation for the change in the expected relative density of trees with distance from the Khor Akwaat in Site One may be the practice of "high-grading" commonly employed in harvesting timber and minerals elsewhere in the world. Highgrading is a form of the economic principal of least effort which under the present circumstances involves harvesting the most valuable tree species first. Areas where density is highest and trees are biggest are the first to be harvested. This type of practice is the least costly in time and effort. Trees in Red Sea Province are typically biggest and densest near the khors where water is more freely available. This suggests a possible reason for the change in relative densities.

Land settlement

The first settlement of the area began in 1910 with the establishment of a religious centre (khalwa). The establishment of khalwas in the Sudan was in private hands until the 1920s when the British instituted Indirect Rule through the Powers of Sheikhs Ordinance (1922). The objective of this ordinance was to replace the effenditype of administration based on the Egyptian model with rule by the indigenous elite (Holt and Daly 1979). Construction of subsidised secular schools was stopped in 1922 and a policy of subsidising khalwas was adopted in its place. In 1918 there were 8 subsidised khalwas in the Sudan. By 1930 there were 768; an increase of 9600 percent.

In 1906 the colonial administration built a railroad from Khartoum on the Nile to Port Sudan via 'Atbara. Port Sudan was opened in 1909 to replace Suakin, the old Turkish trade centre on the coast, sixty kilometres to the south of Port Sudan. In 1924 the rail link was built from Khartoum to Port Sudan via Kassala joining the 'Atbara line at Haya junction. About 50 railway towns were founded in Red Sea Province where there had been no permanent settlement in the past (see Collins and Deng 1984). Many of these railway towns have developed into small centres and a few into towns. The last leg of the Khartoum to Port Sudan railroad is located in Khor Akwaat and two railroad towns were founded in the coastal valley of Khor Akwaat. One of these railroad towns, Adar Awayb Station, is still insignificant but the other, Sallum station, has grown into a minor centre. The line from Sallum station to Suakin was dismantled after the Second World War.

Agricultural intensification

The most devastating influence on vegetation on the Khor Akwaat site has been, however, not urban demand for fuelwood or settlement, but rather the wholesale clearance of land for vegetable gardening. Most of the clearance has taken place during the last three years. Two thirds of Site Two are today part of a garden belonging to the Horticulture Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, one of the first gardens established in Khor Akwaat ten years ago. In 1963 there were no gardens or cultivation of any sort in the area at all. Three years ago it was discovered that Khor Akwaat had greater than expected subsurface water supplies and a high demand was created for areas in which to garden to supply the Port Sudan market. The Port Sudan vegetable market is supplied at different times of the year by production in the Wad Medani area, Kassala, Tokar, and Khor Arba'at. It was this last area that provided the model for market garden cultivation in Khor Akwaat. Khor Arba'at is located only twenty kilometres northwest of Port Sudan and can be considered to represent local production. The major differences between the two areas are:

1. Surface and subsurface water supplies at Arba'at are much more abundant than at Akwaat.

2. Land is being sold to people from Port Sudan who are interested in establishing market gardens in Khor Akwaat.

It is possible that the land clearances in the Khor Akwaat area were sparked more by a speculation scramble than by any serious study of the real potential of the area for sustainable agricultural production. The National Water Corporation's branch office in Port Sudan, for example, states that there is definitely not enough water to garden at the present level of gardening and continue to supply Port Sudan with water. Although it was known before the scramble that subsurface water was available in the area, it was not known how much or what quality of water lay beneath the soil. Well digging costs are considerable especially when it is not at all certain that the well will be wet and sweet. Last year, a new landowner had a bore hole well drilled and found only saline water. At a cost of 125000.00 Sudanese pounds per bore hole this is not a cheap mistake. Since the time this well was dug a damper has been put on well digging in the area, however, people are still buying land, clearing it, and erecting fences.

According to field estimations between 15 and 20 square kilometres have been cleared but not cultivated in any way at the time of the present study, June 1989. Most of this clearance has taken place during the last two years. A feddan of land at the time the study took place cost 1000.00 Sudanese pounds, about 35.00 pounds Sterling at the unofficial exchange rate or 125.00 pounds Sterling at the Business rate. In November 1989 the price had risen to 2000.00 Sudanese pounds per feddan.

It is surprising that the Beja landowners are selling their land. The Beja are wellknown to defend their territorial rights, sometimes violently, against the claims of others. The Hadendowa-Rashayda dispute in Kassala is a famous case in point. The Beja in general are willing to permit others to use their land providing that the user make no ownership claims to the land. In the present case, the people who had traditional rights to the land in Akwaat have long since moved to Port Sudan and have little interest in the area The principal purchasers of land in Khor Akwaat are AfroArab "northerners" from the Nile Valley who have settled in Port Sudan, since the beginnings of the British colonial administration in the Sudan. The author made some discreet enquiries about purchasing some land in Khor Akwaat and he was told to address any requests to the 'Umda

Khor Oko

Unlike the sites in Khor Akwaat, Khor Oko is remote from urban demand for fuelwood, however, similar forces are at work there. The major impact on vegetation in Khor Oko has been the settlement of pastoralists in khalwas, religious settlements, during the last 40 years. The sedentarisation movement is associated with the mosque of Shariif Adarob in Tumaala located about 35 kilometres south of the study site. In an effort to raise the productivity of the areas where religious settlements were established, seasonal watercourses have been diverted and water impounded for fruit tree, vegetable, and sorghum production. The fruit and vegetable production is destined for the Port Sudan market. In Tumaala and its satellites, wood is used in cooking and heating (during the relatively cold mountain winter) and in the construction of houses. There are at least two wood-consuming bakeries in Tumaala.

Before the establishment of the religious centres in the area, herders had no fixed address. Their housing was made from light palm mats, easy to pack up and move from place to place. The environmental impacts of such herders was spread over space. The rationale for the pastoral economy in such a marginal environment was continual movement throughout the seasons for fodder and water.

Today, in contrast, people have settled with their animals along Khor Oko. The people in the area live in houses made of tree trunks, although some families live in palm mat tents surrounded by tree trunk fences. The tree trunk house is characteristic of religious settlements in Red Sea Province. Each house is from 5 to 10 meters in length and 5 meters in width. A log frame is constructed and the tree trunks are planted vertically in the ground and made to lean against the frame. The trunks are piled upon one another in layers and from 150 to 200 trunks are needed to build one house. The principal source of tree trunks is Khor Oko.

The links between the Tumaala area and Port Sudan are increasing. The Naqaseb pass, northwest of Port Sudan was built through the mountains in the late 1970s in order to facilitate exchange between Port Sudan and the Nile valley. Communication was only by camel before the pass was built.

In an area as environmentally marginal as western Red Sea Province, certain costs must be paid for settlement and the increased intensity of land use. A familiar pattern of land degradation is appearing around these settlements. For 30 kilometres east of Tumaala, the main settlement in the area, along Khor Hayet, all dead wood has been removed. One sees an occasional stump belonging to a live cutting. From 30 kilometres from Tumaala to just east of the Naqaseb pass, dead wood is plentiful and there is no evidence of the fuelwood trade. Just a few kilometres east of the pass, however, there is no more dead wood and stumps are plentiful. This is the catchment area of Port Sudan today (see Map 8.6).

Khor Sitareb

The Khor Sitareb site was the only site studied that had an increase rather than a decrease in tree density. An increase occurred on 2 hectares of the 5 hectares examined, although slight decreases occurred on the remaining 3 hectares. The two hectares that had. an increased tree density are located on the edge of the study strip, from the main flow of the khor. Use of the area for fuelwood production has been low. There were no chopped trees or evidence of live cuts. There were randomly-distributed dead trees and branches in the area, an indication of slight use for commercial as well as domestic production. The area is remote and outside of the fuelwood production zone of Port Sudan. What fuelwood is produced in the area goes to Tokar town, 25 kilometres southwest of the site. The production in upper Khor Sitareb, however, is minor and peripheral to the Tokar. The area has no road links to urban areas. Land use on the Khor Sitareb site can be said to be negligible. The density distribution of the trees on the site are what one would expect in a semi-arid area - higher densities closer to the water courses: density and size are a function of the availability of water (see Figures 8.7 and 8.8). This is markedly different from the results for Khor Akwaat where tree densities actually were found to decline as moisture availability increased!

An interesting contrast to the case of upper Khor Sitareb is Khor Dahant located' 35 kilometres due north of Khor Sitareb. There is an oil refinery in Port Sudan linked by a pipeline to Khartoum. This pipeline passes through Khor Dahant. A pumping station to pump the oil over the coastal mountains is located just below the mountains. This pumping station is linked to Suakin by an improved road. Because the road makes transportation easy and cheap the fuelwood of Khor Dahant is economic to cut, process into charcoal, and send to the Suakin and Port Sudan markets. With increasing linkage this will be the case of upper Khor Sitareb as well.

Khor Nubahawayb

The Khor Nubahawayb study site is located in a minor tributary of Khor Nubahawayb on the western edge of the 'Udrus charcoal production area It is located 3 kilometres from the Port Sudan to 'Udrus/Agwampt charcoal transportation route. The changes in tree density observed probably are due to charcoal production although some domestic consumption may be involved. No dead wood was seen in the area There were several chopped and mutilated trees and evidence of charcoal making. This area is on the- periphery of the most important charcoal producing zone for Port Sudan in Red Sea Province, the 'Udrus Basin. Substantial amounts of charcoal also come from Khor Agwampt to the west of the study area. In contrast to the other study sites, charcoal production has been the major process affecting trees in this area. There is no permanent settlement in the khor but a permanent dwelling has been built there to shelter herders and their animals when they pass through.

The major source of demand for charcoal in this area is Port Sudan. Demand from Sinkat, 45 kilometres to the south, has increased in the last few years with the improvement of the Sinkat-'Udrus road and mountain pass, however, demand from this town is minor compared to demand from Port Sudan.

One can imagine an outward-moving frontier of urban influence that began radiating from Port Sudan soon after the Second World War, structuring the rural economy. It has been during the last twenty years, a period of high urban growth, however, that the greatest influence of Port Sudan has been felt in the rural areas. As demand for fuelwood in Port Sudan grew the trees in the immediate areas were cut and transported to market. As local supplies were exhausted producers went further afield. Two economic zones developed around Port Sudan. In the first zone it is profitable to cut and transport wood to Port Sudan. In the second zone, more distant than the first, it is profitable only to produce and transport light weight to value charcoal to Port Sudan.

Charcoal and firewood production is commonly said to have increased during and after the drought in the early 1980s in Red Sea Province. Fuelwood production during and after that time became a survival strategy among many, the most popular being urban migration and agricultural employment on the agricultural schemes in and around the province. A drought relief programme intended to assist the recovery of the people of Red Sea Province extended and refined the transport infrastructure of Red Sea Province during the mid-1980s and had an indirect effect on charcoal and wood production by extending and making transport easier. During the course of this four-year programme an average of 5 lorries were sent about every three months to 410 food distribution points located around the province. This represents one distribution point for every 1000 rural people in Red Sea Province.

Although local transportation was important in the transportation of charcoal and wood in the past (Paul 1954, Newbold 1935, Sandars 1933) traditional modes of transportation do not appear to be significant in the delineation of these production zones except for very local transport of fuelwood, for example, branches or logs from Khor Arba'at by donkey or camel to Port Sudan. In almost all cases traditional transport has been incorporated into the modem transport structure. Donkeys and camels supply remote bulking points served by souk lorries supplying Port Sudan. The model is distorted by modern factors that ease the friction of distance. The domination of the industry by the souk lorry has already been mentioned. Another factor, the levelling and paving of the way from Port Sudan to Kassala and Khartoum in the early 1980s has extended the zone in which it is profitable to transport local firewood to Port Sudan and extended the local charcoal profitability zone as well. A souk lorry is capable of carrying a 7 to 7.5 tonne load. This represents 200 bags of charcoal per lorry. Charcoal can be purchased at 35 Sudanese pounds per bag at Tugalhuush, the first bulking point east of the 'Udrus charcoal production zone, and sold in Port Sudan for 110 Sudanese pounds. The cost of one lorry load of charcoal at Tugalhuush is 7000 Sudanese pounds and the sale value in Port Sudan in June 1989 minus transportation costs is 20000 pounds. This sum represents 1100 pounds Sterling at the official exchange rate or 800 pounds Sterling at the black market rate. The following figure illustrates the relationship between charcoal prices and distance from Port Sudan in June and July 1989. The June figures are prior to the enactment of price controls in the urban areas and the August figures reflect the new policy of urban price control after the change in government on 30 June 1989. The following figure presents charcoal prices per 40 kilogram sack at three bulking points along the Port Sudan-Udrus basin charcoal transport route. Also included in the figure is the change introduced after the July change in government. It does not appear that the change will have any impact on the charcoal producers except in cases where production is integrated with marketing. For example, where a lineage produces, transports, and markets the charcoal in Port Sudan. In this case there will be a substantial loss of income at the Port Sudan level.


Figure 8.6. Charcoal prices per 40 kilogram sack at three bulking points located 30 to 80 kilometres west of Port Sudan and at the market In Port Sudan, June and July 1989.

The following map presents a general view of the fuelwood production zones around Port Sudan.


Map 8.6. Fuelwood production zones for Port Sudan, Red Sea Province.

 

Limitation of the study

Chief among the limitations of the present study is that we were unable to visit more sites. Several reasons were responsible for the time constraints that forced us to limit the scope of our study. first among these was staff unrest leading to lengthy negotiations that had to be resolved before worn could be started A second reason was the delay in the arrival of our computer equipment to analyse and map our results. Related to reason one is that we did not have the time or resources to collect data representative of the entire province. Statements made about vegetation in this paper refer only to the study sites themselves and must not be extrapolated to other areas. A last limitation concerns the resolution of the aerial photographs. Some error may have been caused by our inability to resolve trees less than or equal to 1 meter in diameter. This may have biased our counts of trees on the photographs downward since two adjacent trees, each one meter in diameter, would be distinguishable only as one tree. In this case, the results of the study are more disturbing.

 

References

Cole, R. (1989) Land tenure, agricultural labour, drought and food stress in the Gash, Gash Dai and Tokar agricultural areas. Oxfam Port Sudan.

Collins, R.O. and Deng, F.M. (eds.) (1984) The British in the Sudan, 1898-1956. Macmillian Press, London. 258 pp.

Kassas, M. (1956) The mist oasis of Erkowit, Sudan. Journal of Ecology, 44: 44-194.

Hall, P.M. and Daly, M.W. (1979) History of the Sudan: from the coming of Islam to the present day. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London. 250 pp.

LeBon, J.H.G. (1965) Land use in the Sudan. Geographical Publications Limited. Bude Cornwall, UK.

Newbold, D. The Beja tribes of the Red Sea hinterland. In Hamilton, J.A. (ed.) The AngloEgyptian Sudan from within. Faber and Faber, London.

Paul, A. (1954) A history of the Beja tribes of the Sudan. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Sandars, G.E.R. (1933) The Bisharin. Sudan Notes and Records, 16(2): 119-149.

Vetaas, O.R. (1989) Biotic and abiotic factors in the secondary succession in Erkowit, Red Sea Province. Proceedings from a workshop of the Red Sea Area Programme (RESAP), Khartoum, January 1989.

 

Appendix 10.1. Charcoal dealers by quarter and size class, Port Sudan, August 1988.

QUARTER

 

FREQUENCY OF OCCURRENCE

 

House

Small

Medium

Large

Giant

TOTAL

Abu hashiish

1

1

1

2

0

5

Al-asklila

0

0

1

0

0

1

Al-marghanlya

21

11

13

0

0

45

Al-wuhda

4

10

4

0

0

18

Dar al-na'im

3

13

12

9

0

37

Dar al-salaam

18

22

6

5

0

51

Daym al-'arab

23

9

1

0

0

33

Daym al-madiina

1

1

0

1

2

5

Daym al-nuur

10

25

15

3

3

56

Daym al-ramla

0

7

4

0

0

11

Daym al-shaty

0

0

0

1

0

1

Daym jaabir

1

2

2

0

0

5

Daym kuriya

2

4

5

4

0

15

Daym mayu

1

6

5

5

0

17

Daym muusa

0

3

8

9

0

20

Daym salalab

14

21

13

5

0

53

Daym takaariin

0

2

4

0

0

6

Hai phillip

2

3

1

2

0

8

Hai walli

7

8

7

4

0

26

Main souk

4

5

0

0

0

9

Ongwab

6

2

1

0

0

9

Ras al-shaytaan

1

2

4

0

0

7

Salabuna

3

2

1

0

0

6

Sikka al-hadiid

1

1

0

1

0

3

Tarab hadal

0

0

3

1

0

4

TOTAL

123

160

111

52

5

451

The following size class definitions of dealers were used:

CLASS

NUMBER OF BAGS OF CHARCOAL

 

Min

Max

House

1

3

Small

4

20

Medium

22

100

Large

110

700

Giant

1200

2200

 

Appendix 10.2. Total stock of charcoal per class of dealer by quarter, Port Sudan, August 1988.

QUARTER

 

NUMBER OF SACKS (40 kg)

 
 

House

Small

Medium

Large

Giant

TOTAL

Abu hashiish

3

8

90

380

0

481

Al-askiila

0

0

35

0

0

35

Al-marghaniya

34

101

736

0

0

871

Al-wuhda

8

100

155

0

0

263

Dar al-na'im

5

193

705

2080

0

2983

Dar al-salaam

26

202

303

1200

0

1731

Daym al-'arab

25

81

40

0

0

146

Daym al-madiina

1

5

0

380

3400

3786

Daym al-nuur

17

256

723

1600

5300

7896

Daym al-ramla

0

79

160

0

0

239

Daym al-shaty

0

0

0

140

0

140

Daym jaabir

3

35

55

0

0

93

Daym kuriya

4

38

303

1570

0

1915

Daym mayu

1

50

250

1400

0

1701

Daym muusa

0

33

475

2875

0

338

Daym salalab

22

177

530

1300

0

2029

Daym takaariin

0

17

375

0

0

392

Hai phillip

5

44

70

220

0

339

Hai walk

12

112

288

1305

0

1717

Main souk

7

44

0

0

0

51

Ongwab

7

20

55

0

0

82

Ras al-shaytaan

3

17

275

0

0

295

Salabuna

3

12

90

0

0

105

Sikka al-hadiid

2

20

0

200

0

222

Tarab hadal

0

0

135

500

0

635

TOTAL SACKS

188

1644

5848 15150

8700

31530

 

 

Appendix 10.3. Some characteristics of charcoal production and trade.

There are three interesting characteristics of the charcoal trade in Red Sea Province:

1. Local production is considered inferior to charcoal imported from the Gedarif area

2. Local production supplies only a small part of the Port Sudan demand.

3. Production of charcoal and especially firewood in Red Sea Province is a poor person's occupation.

The best charcoal in Port Sudan is imported from Gedarif. The charcoal making process used in the Gedarif area is better than that used in Red Sea Province and the charcoal is of higher quality. In addition, individual pieces of Gedarif charcoal are bigger than charcoal made from Red Sea Province's small acacias. Although transport costs are reflected in the higher price of Gedarif charcoal, higher quality is also involved').

The fuel of preference among the upper and aspiring classes in Port Sudan is bottled gas. Bottled gas burns cleaner and, most important, is subsidised by the government. A full bottle costs only 16 Sudanese pounds. Most families that use gas use charcoal on occasion as well. The charcoal ES used for specialty cooking, for example, coffee, or at large gash--rings where gas would be impractical to use such as weddings. Gas is in such demand that there is a thriving black market in gas bottles and regulators. An empty gas bottle currently sells for 1500.00 Sudanese pounds. Since the change in government of 30 June 1989 and the imposition of price controls in urban areas, the cost of locally produced and imported charcoal has dropped dramatically from 110 and 140 to 55 Sudanese pounds per 40 kilogram sack; a 50 and 61 percent drop respectively. People who previously principally used bottled gas are now switching to charcoal. In July 1989, all of the charcoal in stock in Port Sudan was sold within a week after the beginning of price control.