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Carrying Firewood

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In Ethiopia mainly women and children are spending much time carrying firewood over large distances.
Poor families may spend nearly their whole life with carrying heavy loads on their backs over several kilometer each day, to earn their living.

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Firewood is taken from the hillsides of Arba Minch supporting the erosion of fertile soil or even from unique forest around the fourty springs in the protected area of the Nechisar National Park, destroying an other trasure of Ethiopia. When the trees are gone even small thorny bushes are taken as firewood. The fertile soil is drying out becomes unprotected and will be washed or blown away after some time.

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The loads are often so heavy that a donkey on four legs would not make a single step with this load on the back. Woman are carrying such loads fixed with thin strings over the shoulders cutting into the flesh. After few years the spine gets deformed leading to back pain.

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Due to the increasing demand of firewood more and more trees from the surrounding are ending up as firewood on the market places. This leads to a dramatically increase of deforestation and erosion. Destroying the basis of living for all following generations in this beautiful and extremely sunny region of the world.