Monthly Archives: February 2011

Firehiwot Mengesha of Gaia Association presents at 2011 ETHOS Symposium

Firehiwot Mengesha of Gaia Association joined our partners in clean energy technology at the 2011 ETHOS symposium, presenting about Gaia’s experiences and lessons with ethanol production and cookstoves. The symposium was held January 28-30 in Kirkland, Washington.  Engineers in Technical and Humanitarian Opportunities of Service (ETHOS) is a non-profit organization which facilitates research and the development of appropriate technology such as clean cookstoves.  It promotes cooperation and collaboration of universities, research laboratories, engineers, and non-governmental organizations around the world.

Firehiwot, chemical engineer and Gaia Association team member since 2004, gave her presentation entitled “Gaia Lessons and Modifications – Small Scale vs. Large Scale Approach” during the final day of the symposium. Firehiwot addressed the symposium attendees about the issues Gaia has faced regarding large-scale ethanol supply for household energy use.  She discussed large-scale ethanol’s vulnerabilities to the pressures of commodity pricing and the gaps between production and consumption.  The presentation included a comparison of the efficiency of both models, a look at the potential utilization and sale of co-products. Firehiwot also discussed the environmental and economic advantages of integrating farmers and agriculture into an energy supply chain.

Among symposium attendees and presenters were representatives from the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the CDM Gold Standard, Trees, Water and People, and many others.  Presentations and discussions included stove production and emissions, indoor air pollution monitoring and carbon finance for clean energy projects.

See Firehiwot’s presentation at

Mekdes Ijigu, Assistant Project Coordinator of Gaia Association, attends Ethiopian Civil Society Network on Climate Change

Mekdes Ijigu displays the CleanCook Stove and ethanol BriteLyt Lantern at the Seventh African Development Forum (ADF) held in Addis Ababa

Mekdes Ijigu, Assistant Project Coordinator of Gaia Association, recently attended the 2011 ECSNCC Forum, representing Gaia and the renewable energy implementing group.  The ECSNCC is a venue for Gaia Association to share its experience with renewable household energy and disseminate project results to relevant stakeholders.

The Ethiopian Civil Society Network on Climate Change (ECSNCC) is a network of Ethiopian Civil Society organizations dedicated to addressing climate change and other environmental issues. ECSNCC was conceived during the 2007 Green Forum – the first national meeting on climate change. The ECSNCC was officially launched on January 2009. The Forum for Environment (FfE), the secretariat of the ECSNCC, is a non-governmental and non-profit organization established in 1997 to serve as a platform for environmental advocacy and communication. The main functions of the Secretariat are to foster coordination and cooperation between CSOs (members and non-members alike) and government institutions, as well as facilitate climate change program planning, monitoring and evaluation. The Forum is responsible for promoting a uniform, effective approach among the network members in order to achieve the greatest possible impact in the mitigation of climate change and the adaptation of environmental regulations.

The network members plan and implement various climate change related projects within various, organized working groups. Gaia Association leads the Energy Working group (EWG). The group consists of Gaia Association, Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), Christian Aid, Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Union (CETU) and Forum for Environment (FfE) as members.

Ethiopian Energy NGO Gaia Association Receives Grant from Ethiopian Federal EPA to Install Community Microdistilleries for Clean Cooking Projects

Gaia Association has received a grant from the Ethiopian Federal Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to source and install three microdistilleries in rural Ethiopian communities.  The project will link agriculture to energy with simple, affordable, small-scale processing and distillation equipment. The agreement between EPA and Gaia Association was signed on December 20, 2011. The efficient microdistilleries (EMDs) will be installed, operated, and owned by three unique communities in the Amhara, Afar, and Oromia/Addis Ababa regions.

The EMD equipment will be modular, transportable and self-contained.  The EMDs will transform sugar and starch feedstocks as well as waste products (such as fruit cull and coffee husks) into bioethanol fuel. The EMDs will produce between 120-150 liters of ethanol per day.

As the lead implementer, Gaia Association will be responsible for overseeing the procurement and installation of the EMDs for the project sites. Gaia will also provide technical support such as comprehensive training on EMD operation, fuel production, safety and handling. The project takes a community-based approach in which local feedstocks are sourced and used to produce ethanol fuel. The fuel will be used for stoves and other appliances.  It will also be used to generate power and for small motorized vehicles.  Gaia Association will provide clean-burning ethanol stoves to the communities.  The ethanol stoves will displace traditional wood and charcoal stoves. In the first phase of the project, studies will be conducted in each community to assess the availability of feedstocks and the capacity of the community to own and operate its EMD.  The EPA will closely monitor the project and provide technical and programmatic advice.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is an Ethiopian governmental body that was established under the Ministry of Natural Resources Development and Environmental Protection (MNRD&EP) in May of 1994. Its mission is to establish environmental management systems which support Ethiopia’s current national development efforts, by promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.

Gaia Association is an Ethiopian non-profit, non-governmental organization working to provide modern stoves and clean alcohol fuels to families in Ethiopia, since 2005.  The EMD project represents Gaia’s mission to provide clean, affordable fuel and stoves to all who lack access to clean energy for the household. Gaia’s efforts reduce black carbon and other emissions to levels never before achieved by improved stoves.  Gaia promotes technologies that mitigate climate change, reduce deforestation and improve health outcomes by reducing pollution in the household. In addition to working with the Ethiopian government, Gaia serves as an Implementing Partner to the UNHCR to provide energy services in refugee camps.



Wubshet Tadele  +251-116-183540

Gulce Askin +1(717)-334-5594