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Solomon's story

Solomon Eating Injera With His Wife And Two Children In Their Home

Meet Solomon

"My name is Solomon. I am 38 years old and I am a father of three children." Solomon lives in northern Ethiopia, a place that is already hard hit by the effects of the climate crisis. For Solomon and his family, he says that "frankincense trees are simply my life".

Solomon extracts frankincense resin from trees and sells it to earn an income for his family. In turn, the trees help restore soil fertility and are more resilient to climate disasters like droughts than other crops are, providing him with a source of income in the face of the climate crisis. Protecting these trees is one aspect of the mosaic of regenerative projects that make up Africa's Great Green Wall movement.

"If there is no forest or trees in the area, local communities will be in danger of losing vital functions from the forests resources."
Solomon, Metema, Ethiopia

Before the project

Solomon tells us about the challenges that his community faced before they received support from a project, ran by Tree Aid partner, SUNARMA.

"Before the project, frankincense tapping was conducted without considering the technical requirements. The trees were tapped intensively and frequently and, as a result, trees were damaged and fell down. Communities had a lack of awareness on how to manage and conserve the remaining forests in the area and there was high exploitation of the forest resources."

Since joining the project

Solomon tells us how everything changed when he joined a frankincense project: "The project delivered materials and training on how to tap and store frankincense and get into the market. The training helped me to produce better quality frankincense and the income I make is helping me to live my life in a better way."

But the benefits don't stop there. Solomon said, "We are now tapping responsibly without harming the tree. We are protecting the remaining forests and managing its resources."

Solomon Sorting Through Tapped Frankincense In A Frankincense Store In His Village

"Frankincense trees for me are simply my life. My life depends on the income I gain from frankincense trees." Solomon, Metema, Ethiopia

Looking to the future

"I believe that I have a bright future, my livelihood will improve and I will lead my life in a better way" said Solomon when asked about how his life has changed since joining the frankincense project.

Now that Solomon has learnt how to use extract frankincense while protecting the forest for the future, he is confident that his children will have a brighter future. "I wish for a better life for my children in the future and my job is to keep sending them to school and try to save money for their future."