The roots of the problem
In order to feed their families and to obtain fuel for cooking, Ethiopia's small farmers have cut down the forests in recent decades. Trees and bushes on the slopes can slow down the power of rainfall. But without their roots, soil erosion occurs in the fields. Harvests are declining. In order to preserve agricultural land and secure the livelihoods of farmers, we are planting around 2.2 million trees in the Fogera district on Lake Tana.
If the forest disappears in Africa, it will also increase temperatures in Switzerland. In the first ten years, each of our trees absorbs 5.5 kg of CO2 per year. This corresponds to 55 kg of CO2 per tree over a period of ten years.
We also give small farmers access to simple cement stoves that are assembled from just a few individual parts. So far, most people still cook over open fires, which require a lot of firewood.
The main purpose of our measures is to combat poverty. But climate protection is a welcome side effect.