Upgrading Slums in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, is currently undergoing an escalation of urbanisation. This has created a city where people from very different socio-economic backgrounds live in close proximity. However, with 80% of the population still in slums, conflicts between groups have intensified.

Due to a deep cultural history, many families refuse to move away from the city, which has motivated the development of Habitat for Humanity’s new slum rehabilitation programmes. This approach prevents families from being evicted from the city by the government. This ensures that they can stay in Addis Ababa.

The Danger of Slums

Slums like those in Addis Ababa are often very unsafe and unhealthy for residents. Only 7% of houses are connected to a sewer system and a quarter of all residents don’t have access to a proper toilet. Additionally, they are very compact and crowded, with 35% of houses only having one room. The overcrowding and lack of sanitation causes rapid spread of diseases.

Slums are also very susceptible to natural disasters. Many roofs leak when rain hits, and structures are often unstable. As part of the rehabilitation program, we are incorporating climate resilient designs to withstand the effects of climate change and natural disasters.

First-hand accounts from Addis Ababa

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Towerbrook is the main donor supporting the rehabilitation of the slum. Employees visited the site because they wanted to get a first-hand look at the kind of work that they are supporting. They all learned a lot from the Habitat for Humanity staff and the residents that they were helping.

As an organisation, our primary focus is providing safe homes to vulnerable families because everyone should have a safe home. Through our slum rehabilitation project, we provided families with a safe and healthy environment because it is important that they can stay connected to the cultural roots that they have established.

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