Addis Ababa is the home of many international and national organizations and a hub for many international and national events. Both, Ethiopian citizens and foreigners prefer the Capital to live in for its convenient conditions.
In the past three years, the government has given special attention to make the city live up its name, Addis Ababa, ‘The New Flower’. To achieve its goals, the government has undertaken various projects to beautify the city and make it more attractive. FDRE Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has taken the initiative via kicking off and undertaking different parks in and around Addis Ababa to make the city more beautiful as well as the country. Endorsing the PM’s initiation, the City Administration has built new ones and reconstructed different parks in the capital in order to give opportunities to the people of the city to recharge themselves. Besides, being tourist attractions and refreshment areas, these parks have become source of income for the city and its habitants via creating jobs.
As Addis Ababa is at better standard civilization when compared to other cities in the country, many citizens have the intention to live and get a job in the city. In this regard, many citizens from all corners of the country have been migrating to the capital. When the number of residents in a given place increases, many infrastructures need to be facilitated to the people by the government.
So far, owning residential house remains and even is ever increasing being among of the burning issues of residents of Addis Ababa. The question of living space is the common need for many residents in the city. So as to address the need, the city administration has planned and taken many actions including building condominium houses for the citizens.
In a recent interview with local media, City Mayor Adanech Abebie said that the government has planned to respond this question of the people. The Mayor has highlighted that five key ways are set to increase the number of houses in the city. She pointed the ways as follows: the first one is building condos like before that benefits most of low and medium income residents; the second option is inviting foreign investors and associating them with local contractors to build these houses as the city administration has signed agreements with different companies; the third option is involving ten thousand house seekers to form associations and providing supports to enable them build their own houses; the forth option is connecting investors or people who have the finance with the ones who have the land to work together and the fifth one is the city administration plans to build nine thousand houses by its own budget.
A policy assessment on sustainable and inclusive housing in Ethiopia by Tadashi Matsumoto and Jonathan Crook has provided some solutions in relation to housing. The study indicates that the federal and regional governments have considerable untapped potential to improve land value capture; the Ethiopian government has made progress in tackling urban housing demand through its condominium development home ownership program; the Integrated Housing Development Program is unaffordable for their target of lowest-income households, Ethiopia’s housing policy framework is characterized by measures promoting homeownership; and private housing developers primarily target high-income households, and the development of a formal rental market is hindered by limited regulations and a lack of transparency between landlords and tenants.
Based on different sources, in this dynamic world, there are a lot of ways to build a house. From those ways, one of them is building prefabricated house which is also known as modular homes or prefabs. These homes are fabricated in a factory and assembled on site. These prefab houses have their own advantages. Some of them are very flexible in design. They have plenty of options to design the houses. The other advantage is that these prefab houses reduce the time to construct them. They take only 30 percent of the time it requires to build a house in other ways. This system also protects material theft or contractor related problems. The third advantage is that this system reduces the construction cost. It also reduces the amount of interest that the home- owner pays for it is built in a short period of time.
The other good side of building prefab houses is that they have high quality. As they are fabricated in a factory, they are in a more demanding procedure than the regular homes. In addition, these prefab houses are environmentally friendly. These houses need less material than other site built homes. This technology has minimal wastage and minimal impact on the environment. These prefab houses are very easy to rebuild and to extend any time possible.
Recently, Addis Ababa City Administration Mayor, Adanech Abebie has kicked off construction of the new five thousand houses with eight billion birr budget. According to the Mayor, this project will build prefab houses that will be finished in short period of time. The city administration has gone far to address citizens demands regarding housing.
The Mayor further explained that houses which were built in a long period of time have had their own problems. These problems have caused lose of massive resource and created various problems while transferring. In turn, the above listed challenges have put pressure on the city administration to pay 54 billion birr debt which is another pain to the administration.
“Based on the lesson we acquired from our previous mistakes, we are working to address the housing questions by implementing projects with low budget and within short period of time. We need to use our resources very wisely, finish projects quickly, and use our capacity effectively,” the Mayor remarked.
By the same token, Addis Ababa Housing Administration has planned to use different ways to solve the housing problems. The administration acts on building loan bond condominium houses coupled with working on other financing opportunities from international exposures. The Construction Works Corporation will take the responsibilities to build prefab housing project and other new technologies. Construction Works Corporation Director, Engineer Yonas Ayalew, on his part explained that the prefab housing project will be finished within a year.
On the occasion, it is reported that the land that will be used to build the houses has encompassed the illegally seized land. This project will resolve some percent of the housing question in the city. It will also help to create job opportunities and introducing new technologies.
To bring the above ideas to stopping point, going along with technology is the best way to make life easy both to the people of the country and the government. Deciding to use modern systems to build houses is important for countries like Ethiopia where resources are scarce. Building prefab houses with low cost and in a short period of time will solve the long lasted queries of citizens on owning a house.
BY DANIEL ALEMAYEHU
TUESDAY 18 JANUARY 2022