Household energy consumption in Mumias, Western Kenya – global and local perspectives


Manfred Stoppok

Research Area:


The sufficient and environmentally friendly supply of energy to the population is undoubtedly one of the pressing socio-political challenges of the 21st century. Even though the per capita consumption of energy is known for the countries of the global South and North, we know little about local processes of dealing with energy. Therefore my project explores local conceptions and perceptions of energy in the western Kenyan town Mumias. Particularly I look at current energy consumption in households, people’s preferences in daily energy use and their wishes and expectations of future energy supply.


By using Mumias as an ethnographic example I will describe how commonly used statistical values on energy consumption translate into real life situations. A special focus is on ‘middle class’ people as I assume that their consumption patterns and often their future visions in general might serve as a model for the whole society. Technically my project is managed by an interdisciplinary team with members of the Department of Social Anthropology, the Institute of Chemical Engineering and the Institute of Biochemical Engineering.