- East Africa
Ethiopian capital’s looming epidemic hindering development
Plan to build homes and create jobs in Addis Ababa under threat
A new consultancy firm that recently took administrative control of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, has expressed concern over a looming water related epidemic. The outbreak, which is expected between now and 2013, could hinder the achievement of the capital’s five-year strategic plan put together by the new consultancy firm. Meanwhile, Kuma Demeksa, has outlined a 40 billion birr plan to address the city’s main problems during his tenure as the city’s mayor.
One of the major financial concerns of the draft strategy is to alleviate the housing and employment challenges facing the city’s 2.7 million residents. The plan includes the construction of 200,000 condominiums as well as the creation of 69,077 new jobs between 2011 and 2012. About a third of the city’s residents are currently unemployed.
The draft outlines a strategy to reduce unemployment by at least 51 per cent through a further development and encouragement of micro and small business enterprises. To achieve this set goal, the city intends to set aside 1.9 billion birr geared towards the creation of a lending mechanism in which small businesses could easily access financial support.
Though the draft outlines a strategy to curb some of the major challenges affecting the development of the city, it also foresees the high improbability of reaching set targets owing to financial constraints and a possible outbreak of waterborne diseases.
According to their recent assessment, 25 per cent of Addis Ababa’s solid waste is not properly discharged while 25 per cent of the overall residential houses lack adequate lavatories. Out of the 800,000 cubic meters of the city’s daily waste only 10 per cent (that is, 8,024 cubic meters) was properly discharged last year, the document indicated.
Cases of contamination
The most alarming part of the findings indicate that the city’s poor sewerage system is bedded close to one of the main fresh water systems that supplies 37 percent of Addis Ababa’s water needs. There have been cases where residents were reportedly exposed to polluted water supply.
Meanwhile, the city is noted as lacking health institutions with only 10 hospitals. The federal government owns six of them. According to a World Health Organization requirement, a medical doctor is expected to treat a 10,000 patients while one nurse is to serve up to 1,000, however, a medical doctor in Addis Ababa treats 29,470 patients against 4,356 for a nurse.