– Year founded: 1993
– People served: 3,305 FY16
– Volunteers hosted: 131 FY16
– Capital: Addis Ababa
– Population: 102.37 million
– Urbanisation: 19.5% live in cities
– Life expectancy: 62.2 years
– Unemployment rate: 17.5%
– Population living below poverty line: 29.6%
Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia
Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia has been active since 1993. Since then it has helped thousands of families by 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.
Countrywide 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 Addis Ababa, 80 percent of the houses are in poor condition and below standard. Houses in slum areas are old and dilapidated and too narrow to accommodate families, where the health and dignity of families is compromised. Most families who live in dilapidated homes in slum areas share toilets that are also in very poor conditions. Vulnerable Groups are severely affected by poverty housing, lack of safe water and sanitation. Adult prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS is 1.5 and there about 898,000 AIDS orphans in the country. Out of 4 million elderly people, only 19% receive pension. There are 600,000 refugees in the country. Prevalence of draught, flood, earthquake and epidemic is high.
How Habitat for Humanity addresses the housing need in Ethiopia
Habitat Ethiopia’s work focuses on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene- WASH, Vulnerable Groups Housing, Disaster Risk Reduction and Response-DRRR, saving-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 programmes.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Ethiopia:
Vulnerable Groups Housing
Habitat Ethiopia helps families in moving out of poverty housing by constructing decent and affordable homes through the Vulnerable Groups Housing Program through which extremely needy and vulnerable families living in dilapidated homes with complex poverty, health and disability problems become homeowners of new or renovated homes, with none or limited contributions in building the houses. It also includes building capacity and organization of the community.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
This program involves construction of toilets and water supply systems for low-income families. These services are provided to families who live in rural and urban slum areas with extremely poor sanitation and limited water supply. The project provides communal toilets and communal water services. The supply of water to families also includes construction of large water service systems such as service reservoirs, pumping systems and installation of main water lines for wider area coverage. The program also includes construction of healthy floors, walkways, ditches and solid waste management in slum areas. Habitat Ethiopia also promotes personal and environmental hygiene.
Disaster Risk Reduction and Response (DRRR)
Ethiopia is facing severe drought which affected southern and eastern low lands. At least 5.6 million people need emergency food aid and 9.2 million people require Water, Sanitation and Hygiene support. In response to the life-threatening drought, Habitat Ethiopia has launched Disaster Risk Reduction and Response (DR3-WASH 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% in the two districts respectively. The community water supply systems are not functional. Women and children travel 2-3 hours per day to collect water from unprotected sources where large number of people and their livestock line up for hours.
The project aims at assisting 7,500 families (more than 37,000 people) by providing water backpacks, water purifying chemicals, and hygiene awareness raising training. To scale up the emergency WASH efforts, a new project proposal of close to $200,000 has been developed to assist more people who live in drought affected areas. Habitat Ethiopia is seeking additional funds to start new projects in other districts of the region where people face severe shortages of water.
Meet a Habitat Family
Anisa Mohamed 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 walls covered with grass. 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. Anisa is among families for whom vulnerable housing project is carried by Habitat Ethiopia. Her new house was completed in the first phase of the project. ‘’My children and I feel as we start in new world, start new life and my fear is gone,’’ Anisa said. Now they have two large clean rooms, kitchen and a toilet.
To learn more about Habitat projects in Ethiopia, or in other parts of the region, please contact us.