Home > City Journal > The fuelwood carriers of Addis Ababa

The fuelwood carriers of Addis Ababa

I had an article published by the Mail and Guardian’s Voices of Africa, on the subject of fuel wood carries of Addis Ababa.

More than 15 000 women in Addis Ababa make their living from illegally collecting fuelwood from the protected eucalyptus grove atop Entoto Mountain. Every day they travel around 30km to collect and carry branches, twigs and leaves. They sell the fuelwood door-to-door, on street corners or in the many open markets in the city.
Amarech
Amarech Dorota (52) has been collecting fuelwood for the past twenty years. After her husband died, she had to single-handedly provide for her kids, two of whom are now in high school. “It was challenging to feed the children, so I had to go to the forest every day except on Sundays,” she says.
Dorota is little over five feet tall, sturdily built, with deep wrinkles on her face and hands that testify to a hard-working life. She has no tools so she uses her hands to pull the branches. Once she’s collected enough, she carries the weighty load on her back, strapped to her body by a harness made of cloth which runs over her shoulders and across her chest, and uses a stick for support.
Read the rest of the article here.

  1. Cate
    October 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Connected in Hope (www.connectedinhope.org) is doing amazing work to support former fuel wood carriers through alternative income development, day care and preschool, and health care. Check them out!

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