Former firewood collectors and sellers in Addis Ababa are to benefit from an income-generating scheme set up by the oil and gas company Total allowing them to sell fuel.

Under the project the 25 members of the Yeka Former Women Fuel Wood Carrier Association (YFWFWCA) will be given management of a kerosene outlet at Signal Kazanchis in the Aware district of the capital. Total put up the 400,000 Br needed to install the necessary kerosene tanker, pipes, pumps and cables and will also provide 200,000 Br of working capital for the outlet. Unlike firewood collection, which involves long trips into the forest to gather wood before heaving it often over long distances to sale, the project will allow the women to work close to home under less gruelling conditions and will give them a secure income.

The project is the brainchild of Tizazu Assefa, an Total employee, and won a prize in the 2007 edition of the oil company