Clean Cooking across Ethiopia: Eliminating Indoor Pollution and Saving Trees
An interview with Konjit Negussu: Director of the Ethiopian Clean Cooking Alliance Association

If you were walking in the hills above Addis on Thursday July 23rd you would have seen over 70 muddy-handed people planting indigenous trees. They represented more than 20 organisations and were planting to build awareness on the importance of replacing trees that are cut down to use for cooking. In 2014 the total annual amount of wood consumed for cooking was 86m tons with 85% of Ethiopian households cooking traditionally using biomass, and everyone in the household highly exposed to indoor air pollution. This shocking information reveals the urgent need for change in cooking fuels across Ethiopia. Though this issue and work to tackle it is not new, change has been slow. Konjit Negussu explained that the ECCA was established to address this, “Based on the demand of different sectors working on clean cooking energy, the ECCA will help them come together with a collective voice, creating an enabling environment to promote clean cooking solutions”. She went on to say that although the ultimate aim in Ethiopia is for all households to have electricity, this is a long term goal that will take time and requires huge resources, so the ECCA aims to urgently bridge that gap with alternative clean cooking solutions. ECCA aims to bring all the stakeholders together under one umbrella to enable change, including government organizations, NGOs, the private sector, civil society organisations, development partners, academia, and donors.

Cooking fuel and methods are issues as complex and diverse as Ethiopia itself. For example, the fuel and stove type needed for injera is very different to what is required for stew and boiling food. When local partners, for example, who know specifically about their community’s diet and cooking methods, are brought together with innovators and private companies, answers can be designed to make their cooking clean. As Konjit explained, there is no lack of innovation, or alternative fuels in Ethiopia. Energy such as biogas, solar power, or ethanol created from molasses, is available. However, it’s the combination of policy and strategies, knowledge of Ethiopia and expertise around clean cooking that is needed to make change happen quickly. During the tree planting event, which took place in accordance within Covid-19 safety rules, members of the alliance provided 500 improved cooking stoves to vulnerable local households, which are exposed to indoor air pollution. This happened through collaboration with Addis Ababa City government, Environmental Protection and Green Development Commission (EPGDC), and demonstrated how when we work in alliance great changes can happen. For more information on the Ethiopian Clean Cooking Alliance Association please contact:

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