- Capital: Addis Ababa
- Main country fact: World’s most populous land-locked country
- Population: 102.37 million
- Urbanization: 19.5%
- Life expectancy: 62.2 years
- Unemployment rate: 17.5%
- Population living below poverty line: 29.6%
Find more country facts on: CIA The World Factbook – Ethiopia
- Date when Habitat started working in the country: 1993
- Individuals served in FY18: 77,295
- Volunteers hosted in FY18: 10
- Housing Solutions: New, rehabs, incremental
Habitat for Humanity in Ethiopia
Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia has been active since 1993. Since then it has helped thousands of families in building decent homes with improved water and sanitation facilities. Habitat Ethiopia runs a diverse, innovative program, tailored to meet the local housing need.
The housing need in Ethiopia
The vast majority of Ethiopians live in poorly built, dilapidated and cramped houses which lack even the basic facilities, such as toilets. Only 30 percent of the current housing stock in country is in a fair condition, with the remaining 70 percent in need of total replacement. Access to safe drinking water is 50 percent countrywide and only 20.7 percent of the population has access to adequate sanitation (UNICEF, 2011). 38 percent of households do not have toilet facilities.
In the capital of Addis Ababa, 80 percent of the houses are in poor condition and below minimum standards. Houses in slum areas are old and dilapidated and too narrow to accommodate families, where the health and dignity of individuals is compromised. Most families who live in dilapidated homes in slum areas share toilets that are also in very poor condition. Adult prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS is 1.18 and there are about 804,000 AIDS orphans in the country. Out of 4 million elderly people, only 19 percent receive a pension. There are more than 893,000 refugees in the country (UNHCR). Prevalence of draught, flood, earthquake and epidemics is high.
Habitat’s contribution in Ethiopia
Habitat Ethiopia’s work focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene, or WASH; housing of vulnerable people; disaster risk reduction and response, or DRRR; savings-led housing finance; promotion of community development and resource mobilization. Habitat Ethiopia promotes and engages volunteers to advance its work by establishing long-term and project-based partnership with Habitat´s volunteer sending programs.
Integrated Vulnerable Group Housing and WASH Project
This project is being implemented in 10 towns of Oromiya and Amhara regions for two years. With this project, Habitat Ethiopia aims at improving the living condition of needy and vulnerable families who live in poverty, and affected by health issues and cases of disabilities. These families will be homeowners with no or limited contributions to build the houses. The intervention includes reconstruction/renovation of dilapidated houses for vulnerable and leprosy affected families, renovation of communal toilets, provision of hygiene training for beneficiaries and community members, and enhancing capacity of town administrations in solid waste management through providing solid waste trucks and other tools. Habitat Ethiopia will also construct a reservoir, install rising and distribution water lines, and construct communal water points.
Urban Slum Upgrading Project
Habitat Ethiopia has been implementing Urban Slum Upgrading Project in Addis Ababa, the capital city, which have been scaled up for another three-year period. The project is designed to assist vulnerable slum dwellers to get access to improved housing and sanitation facilities through renovation of houses, construction of communal toilets, communal water points, walkways and ditches. The project ensures sustainable use of the facilities and creating healthy living environment through hygiene and sanitation training and promotion of saving.
Disaster risk reduction and response
Ethiopia is facing severe drought which affected southern and eastern low lands. At least 7.9 million people need emergency food aid and 6.9 million people require water, sanitation and hygiene support (HRD Document). In response to the life-threatening drought, Habitat Ethiopia has launched a disaster risk reduction and response project in Sankura and Alicho districts of Silte zone in Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s State. As a result of drought, coverage of potable water drops to 18 and 27 percent in the two districts respectively. The community water supply systems are not functional. Women and children travel two to three hours per day to collect water from unprotected sources where large number of people and their livestock line up for hours.
The Resilience Building and Drought Response WASH program has started in 2017 with an emergency response by assisting 7, 500 families with non-food items. The program is focusing on emergency WASH interventions in Southern Nations and Oromia Regions, mainly built around upgrading the critical WASH infrastructure such as installation of water pipelines, water pumps, new boreholes or rehab of the existing ones, water points connections, together with sanitation trainings and promotion of proper WASH standards among the exposed communities. The current projects on the ground are planned to continue until 2020, having already part of the funds secured and a dedicated team in place. In the future, HFHE may consider responding to other hazards including internal displacement or flood.
Meet a Habitat family
Anisa lives in Bisidimo town in eastern Ethiopia. As symptoms of leprosy appeared on her skin, Anisa left her family in fear of discrimination from the community. She used to live in an old shack with her three children. The chika (mud) wall was cracked and the roof was poorly covered with grass. The family was exposed to rain and wind. There was no separate kitchen and Anisa used to cook in the same shack with the risk of fire catching to the grass-covered walls. As the floor was full of dust, their health was compromised.
“My fear was that the house might collapse while we were asleep,’’ Anisa said. Her family is among those who have been considered for Habitat Ethiopia’s vulnerable housing project. Now they have two large clean rooms, a kitchen and a toilet. ‘’My children and I started a new life.
What you can do
You can help Ethiopian families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Donate: Go to altenheime-hamburg.info and designate your gift to Habitat Ethiopia.
Tithe: All affiliate tithe gifts are sent internationally to serve families outside of the United States. To support the work of Habitat ETHIOPIA, please send your tithe to: Habitat for Humanity International P.O. Box 6598 Americus, GA 31709-3498.
To learn more about Habitat projects in Ethiopia, please contact us: [email protected]
Fungai Mukorah, Program Development Manager
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa
To learn more about volunteering opportunities in Ethiopia, please contact [email protected].