News / Africa

EPA Chief Promotes Green Partnerships in E. Africa

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson (undated photo)
US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson (undated photo)

The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency has been promoting green technology partnerships during a trip to East Africa. One project is aimed at resolving Ethiopia’s most pressing environmental concerns.

Tedla Woldemichael is an environmental activist working to promote fuel-efficient cooking stoves in mostly rural southern Ethiopia.

He was in Addis Ababa this week to demonstrate his stoves to visiting US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. 

"If we save fuel, then that is conserving the forest, so this is our idea," Woldlemichael said while explaining the connection between fuel-efficient cooking and environmental protection. "Now, if you conserve the forest, then we are fighting against climate change."

Wood and other biomass fuels are scarce in Ethiopia. A century ago, 40 percent of the country was forest. Today it’s less than 4 percent.

Despite a massive tree-planting campaign, woodlands are in danger as a rapidly growing population scours the countryside for fuel.

Tedla’s organization, Concern for Environment, does not simply hand out clean cook stoves. Instead it provides women with molds and materials to build their own stoves that use less than half the fuel of traditional cooking fires. They can then re-use the mold to produce and sell more stoves to others in their communities.

"We are providing a molder that makes this cook stove, and with this it is possible to save 55 percent of energy," explained Woldemichael. "They make this one, they sell from the profit, they make their livelihood. It is [an] income generation scheme."

Experts say in addition to saving fuel and money, clean cook stoves also can prevent thousands of deaths from respiratory diseases caused by smoke from indoor fires.

But providing the cook stove technology is one thing. Adapting it to local needs is another. In a vast country like Ethiopia, conditions vary from region to region. What works in one place may fail in another.

To help introduce clean cook stoves, the U.S. Peace Corps has dispatched 31 environmental specialists into the countryside. Peace Corps Country Director Nwando Diallo says these volunteers will be a link between policy makers in Addis Ababa and families in remote villages.

"Our volunteers live there for two years," said Diallo. "So the idea is you’re working one on one with individuals in the community and trying to pass on and transfer skills so you’re not just popping in to town, doing a workshop for a week, but you are actually living there and making sure the individual is moving toward those appropriate new technologies."

EPA Administrator Jackson says her agency has committed $6 million over five years to support a clean air partnership known as the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. She told a group of activists in Addis Ababa the goal is to place 10 million clean stoves in Ethiopia within five years.

"Everyone here is working to increase understanding of hazards of burning conventional fuels in the home," said Jackson. "They are highlighting health benefits that cleaner stoves and cleaner indoor air can bring. And importantly they are working to make those benefits possible with cleaner technology, in other words by building a better cook stove."

EPA officials say nearly three billion people worldwide use cook stoves. Jackson said environmental groups hope to convert 100 million African homes to clean technology by 2020.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid