A new stove is worth its weight in gold


Most Ethiopian farmers’ wives still cook like they did centuries ago: the pot is simply placed on three large stones around a fire. Due to the lack of firewood they often burn twigs, dried corn stalks and even leaves. The acrid smoke irritates the throat, stings the eyes. Europeans cannot bear to stay for long in the soot-blackened huts. Their only thought is "Out into the fresh air!"

But the women must put up with the smoke. Without a fire they can’t feed their families. Many of them have respiratory ailments as a result. The smoke is just as harmful to their health as excessive cigarette consumption. The sheer unbearable workload is a further heavy burden. Stooping deeply, the farmers’ wives collect large bundles of twigs from the savannah. The distances are longer, because supplies of firewood around the settlements are ever dwindling. Once upon a time Ethiopia was almost completely covered by forest, but today it is only three per cent of the surface area. The lack of forest means less rainfall, field harvests are declining and the families are suffering from even greater poverty and hunger.

For this reason Menschen für Menschen launched its "Green Stove" programme: women are being supported in setting up businesses for manufacturing environmentally and healthy stoves. One of them is Gebeanesh Nadeu in the small town of Rema. "Menschen für Menschen gave me a course of training, 500 kilograms of cement and the steel moulds," explains the 31-year-old, pouring a mixture of sand, water and cement into the moulds and tamping it down with a pestle.

Once the mixture has set after a few hours, she turns the moulds over. Six different components can be assembled to make a complete stove. The air supply to the combustion chamber can be regulated, enabling families to cut their usual firewood requirement by a half to two-thirds. And the smoke is reduced.

JGebeanesh Nadeu can produce 50 stoves every month. Menschen für Menschen buys them all and sells them at a discount to the farmers in the region. People in Europe also benefit from the subsidised cooking device, because they help in the fight against global warming. With each stove about a tonne of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is saved every year – that is equal to a 3,000 kilometre journey by car.

"The income from stove building is urgently needed,” says Gebeanesh Nadeu. “My husband has Diabetes and hardly earns any money. This business in my only source of income, so I can give my three children a school education."


CHF

Beneficiary:
Donations account:
Account Number 18180018
Bank Code 701 500 00
BIC SSKMDEMM
IBAN DE64701500000018180018
Donations account:
Account Number 18180018
Bank Code 701 500 00
BIC SSKMDEMM
IBAN DE64701500000018180018
Spendenkonto:
Postkonto 90-700000-4

Stiftung Menschen für Menschen Karlheinz Böhms Äthiopienhilfe, 8002 Zürich

IBAN-Code:
CH97 0900 0000 9070 0000 4
BIC SSKMDEMM
IBAN DE64701500000018180018
Green Stove