Before joining Vita’s improved cookstove project, Alemitu was using the traditional three stone stoves cooking for meal preparation and heat. She usually collected this firewood from a local forest, thus contributing to deforestation. This daily task would see Alemitu spending more than half a day, undertaking a four hour journey, to collect her firewood.
In Ethiopia, as in most developing countries, wood is a key source of energy for rural residents. Despite the extremely rapid economic growth that Ethiopia has experienced over the last ten years, a large number of rural households still heavily depend on traditional biomass energy for both heating and cooking, especially in remote areas where it is sometimes the only energy available.