www.ProjectGaia.com > Gaia Worldwide > Ethiopia


Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries on Earth (per capita income ≈ US$ 97). Finchaa Sugar, a government-owned sugar refinery, dumps tons of molasses—a by-product of sugar production for which there is no market—into rivers, polluting the environment. In 2004, Finchaa recognized the potential for converting molasses into ethanol, inviting Project Gaia to introduce CleanCook stoves to the area and create a household ethanol market. As of 2009, Ethiopia produces around 8 million liters of ethanol annually, and there are plans to expand ethanol production to 130 million liters by 2012.

Ethanol stoves in displaced communities

A traditional coffee ceremony

A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony consists of roasting, grinding, and boiling coffee beans. The coffee grounds are brewed three times for the guests. When full, a CleanCook canister will burn for 4.5 hours at maximum power, which is ideally suited for the coffee ceremony. You can give this gift to a family in need.

In 2005 the Ethiopian NGO, Gaia Association, was formed, employing Ethiopian staff in Addis Ababa, and refugee staff in the field who closely monitor the project.

Before the CleanCook stove, women would sometimes search for up to eight hours to find firewood. The once-wooded area around the camps is now barren; resources are scarce, and refugee women seeking firewood often experience harassment, beatings, and rape.

After conducting pilot studies, CleanCook stoves are now being used by 3,400 Somali families in the Kebribeyah and Awbarre refugee camps. Many women say the stove is their most prized possession.

Commercialization in Addis Ababa

Gaia Association also has a commercialization project with a local partner, Makobu Enterprises PLC, to manufacture and disseminate stoves in Addis Ababa to low-income families. Even in the capital city, women may walk miles carrying extremely heavy loads of firewood for use or sale.

Learn more about the Ethiopia-based Gaia Association »

Additional documentation of our Ethiopia project can be found here »