“Housing has become the front line defence against the coronavirus. Home has rarely been more of a life or death situation.”
Woreda 8 is one of Addis Ababa’s oldest neighbourhoods with more than 40,000 inhabitants. The neighbourhood has grown without a community development plan. Houses are built on available land, often in areas that are unsafe, such as unstable land alongside river. Every time it rained, the roof leaked, and when the river flooded, her home’s foundation got weaker and water collected on the floor. She didn’t have the money to repair her home or move to a new place.
Working together, the local government and Habitat Ethiopia have formed a Community Committee to identify the needs of the heavily congested area where residents live in houses built of mud and sheet metal.
“Some houses are just not appropriate for humans.”
recalls Community Coordinator Tegene Gemuchu:
“When I see such living conditions, I immediately contact Habitat for Humanity.”
Admas Stefanos, a 45-year old mother of four, has lived in Woreda 8 for over 30 years without a toilet. She and her children used to walk to a nearby river, dig a hole and hope no one saw them.
“We would go to the river because the water can wash away our dirt,” she explains. “There were no toilets in the area.”
“There are few basic services,” says Woreda 8 administrator, Desalegn Debele.
“The government is trying its best but half of the people in Woreda 8 do not have clean Water and Sanitation facilities. This leads to a variety of illnesses related to poor hygiene.”
Habitat for Humanity helped more than 5,000 people in the area through:
Furthermore, through this project, new job opportunities were created in the area. “So many people, particularly the young, have been trained and now have jobs because of Habitat,” says Desalegn.
“So the impact and benefits are much greater than just building a new house.”