In rural Ethiopia, wood is the most important energy source for household cooking, where alternative fuel sources are either unavailable or unaffordable. The traditional cooking method involves resting a clay plate on three stones over an open fire to bake injera, the typical Ethiopian bread made from teff. Fuel wood collection is furthermore one the most significant drivers of deforestation across sub-Saharan Africa; between 1990 and 2010 Ethiopia lost an area of forest cover equivalent to the size of greater London.
Using a more efficient cooking method has been shown to save a significant amount of wood for households, reducing the impact on the environment and the drudgery for the women and children who primarily collect the wood. CO2balance are partnering with Vita to certify their Ethiopia projects under the Gold Standard.
The stoves are designed for traditional Ethiopian cooking to maximise uptake within communities and are built within the project area- providing employment during the production phase. Each stove saves up to 50% of wood for the household, which helps to alleviate the pressure of wood demand on the local forests. In turn, the stoves’ wood saving reduces the amount of time that is required to collect wood fuel, allowing women and children more time to participate in other activities.
The increased thermal efficiency of the stoves means that the combustion process is more complete, therefore risks related to exposure to hazardous household air pollution are minimised, and carbon emissions are also reduced, greatly improving the well-being and lives of thousands of families.