The neighborhood of Kazanches, once a byword for dodgy bars and prostitution, has been singled out as the new business center of Addis Ababa
By Karim Lebhour (AFP) |
Addis Ababa–Surrounded by the rubble of her former neighbors’ homes, Getnesh Amare hangs her laundry in the shadow of the high-rise offices and hotels taking over the once insalubrious center of Ethiopia’s capital.
“They have come many times to force us to move quickly. I’m not happy, but it’s a must. I have to move,” the mother-of-four, a housekeeper, told AFP.
The neighborhood of Kazanches, once a byword for dodgy bars and prostitution, has been singled out as the new business center of Addis Ababa by authorities determined to rid the capital of slum-like residential areas.
On one side of the street, trendy cafes and bakeries have cropped up, while on the other, holdouts like Amare are clinging to their tin-roofed mud huts, known as “chika bet,” for which they pay a monthly rent of less than a dollar.
Authorities are trying to convince her to move into a three-bedroom “condominium,” the Ethiopian version of social housing. However, the thought of living in one of the large housing projects mushrooming on the outskirts of Addis Ababa does not impress her.
“It is not very comfortable. The water comes twice a week and it’s on the fourth floor,” Amare complained. And above all, the apartment is more than an hour’s commute from the center of the city.
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