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Kemia Ahmed, a fifty-year old mother of seven, beams as prepares her new stove to bake injera, the flat spongy bread that is the staple of most Ethiopian meals. Kemia has good reason to be happy.

Thanks to the firewood conserving stove provided by the Christian Aid led BRACED programme, Kemia knows she will finish cooking before her children return from school and she won’t be too tired to enjoy the afternoon meal with them.

Previously, when we were cooking over open fires, we had to fetch firewood every day. It was very hard work that used up a lot of our time. We would use the entire load of firewood in one go. There was a lot of smoke and the open fire would scorch our bodies. Cooking took a long time after which we would be so tired we wouldn’t even feel to eat when we were done.

- Kemia.

Reducing deforestation and firewood

Kemia lives in Kombolcha, an arid, mountainous district in Eastern Ethiopia. The acacia forests that once covered these hills are long gone as human consumption has outstripped efforts to plant trees. That means longer treks to fetch firewood for women like Kemia.

The poorly forested mountains and hills surrounding the village of Kombolcha, Ethiopia

The stoves don’t use a lot of wood.There is no smoke, so that has been good for our health. We no longer have to make daily trips to the hills to collect firewood. The stoves heat up fast and we can cook and finish quickly. One load of firewood now lasts four or five days.

- Kemia.

Kemia Ahmed stahding in the doorway of her home in Kombolcha, Ethiopia
Key impact

Protecting the environment is one of the pillars of the BRACED programme and promoting the use of fuel-wood conserving stoves is among the actions being taken to prevent further ecological degradation.

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Find out more about building resilience to climate change in BRACED DataStories.