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Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Ethiopia has been active since 1993. It runs a diverse, innovative programme tailored to meet the local housing need.

Housing Needs in Ethiopia

The vast majority of Ethiopians live in poorly built, dilapidated and cramped houses which lack even the basic facilities, such as toilets. Around 90% of the urban houses and almost all rural houses are in poor condition (Ethiopian Central Statistical Authority). 60% of the population lacks access to adequate sanitation facilities (WHO/ UNICEF).

In Addis Ababa, 80% of the houses are in poor condition and below standard. Houses in slum areas are old and dilapidated and too small to accommodate families, where health and dignity of family members is compromised. Most families who live in dilapidated homes in slum areas share toilets that are also in very poor conditions. The water supply satisfies only 60% of the demand of the population. 24% of the households do not have any form of toilet facility and 63%  use shared pit latrines. 25% of the solid waste generated from the city is left unattended. Only 18% of households in Addis Ababa have access to sanitation facilities. Poor families do not have toilets at all or use toilets that are nearly abandoned.

In Addis Ababa, 80% of the houses are in poor condition and below standard.

How Habitat Addresses the Needs in Ethiopia

Habitat Ethiopia constructs new homes, renovates old and dilapidated homes, constructs toilets and water facilities and provides improved kitchens. Along with other services for families, HFH Ethiopia constructs Improved Chika Houses (ICH). Chika is fermented soil, mixed with water and grass/straw. Chika houses can be built anywhere and are the most affordable local housing solution.

Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Ethiopia:

Homes for Low-income Families and Vulnerable Groups

HFH Ethiopia helps families in moving out of poverty housing by constructing decent and affordable houses through long term no-profit and no-interest loans. The target beneficiaries are low income families with a maximum monthly household income of US$50 or less. Vulnerable Group (VG) Housing is a housing programme where extremely needy and vulnerable families with complex poverty, health and disability problems become homeowners with none or limited contributions in building the houses. The disabilities can be physical, mental or visual.

Water and Sanitation Services

This programme involves construction of toilets and water supply systems for low-income families. These services are provided to families who live in urban slum areas with extremely poor sanitation and limited water supply. The project provides communal stand pipes and shared meter water taps. The supply of water to families also includes construction of large water service system development such as spring development, construction of service reservoirs, pumping systems and installation of main water lines for wider area coverage.

Slum Upgrade

The costs of such renovations are often greater than similar new houses built on an open sub-urban land. The programme serves vulnerable families living in dilapidated houses in slum areas which are fully renovated to make them habitable and decent. The houses are often torn down and rebuilt.

Kitchen Improvement

Improved kitchens help reduce quantities of fire wood consumed and also smoke emissions to the environment at least by 50-60%. This helps in reducing cost of fuel wood for families and also improves health of family members. The additional impacts are also reduction of deforestation and soil erosion.

“Our old home was right next to an unclean communal toilet. Now we live in a clean home, sleepless nights are over!”

Meet a Habitat Family

Mersha Gebre Hana used to live with her six children in a narrow shabby home which she rented for USD 6 a month, a quarter of their tiny income from shoe shining part-time job of her two sons. Mersha lost both of her hands when fire had broken out in her previous home and she had to save her son. The family is one of Habitat Ethiopia´s Vulnerable Groups programme beneficiaries to whom houses are given without a mortgage payment. Mersha was very excited when she was told that she would become a Habitat home owner. Haile, who was rescued from the fire by his mom, can now fulfill his dream to study in a safe, clean home. He also said: “Our old home was right next to an unclean communal toilet. Now we live in a clean home, sleepless nights are over!”

Website: http://habitatethiopia.org

Press Release


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