Wednesday, January 18, 2023
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SocietyIllegal squatters stall Abattoirs relocation

Illegal squatters stall Abattoirs relocation

The Addis Ababa Abattoirs Enterprise (AAAE) is forced to stop its construction project for its modern abattoir, as the 20 hectares of land it secured from the Addis Ababa City Administration overrun by illegal residents who built houses on the land.

After the city administration expelled unlawful occupants from the area, the property in Nefas Silk Lafto sub-city around Hana Mariam Church was handed over to the Enterprise for its expansion project.

The land was given to the enterprise in 2016 after the city administration cleared the land of illegal residents. However, the process of clearing the land cost the lives of three people and many were injured due to conflicts between residents and the city administration.

The enterprise was in the process of hiring a contractor, acquired a land tenure verification map from the administration for the construction of the project funded by the French Development Agency (AFD).

The 20-hectare plot of land, however, is now home to a vast number of informal settlers. The Enterprise is waiting for the city administration’s decision on the matter, since relocating the residents from the land is not an easy task.

“Right now, we have three options,” said Seid Indris, general manager of AAAE, adding “begin construction by forcing locals off the land, look for an alternative location, or modernize the slaughterhouse we are currently using.”

However, according to Seid, the municipal is responsible for adjudicating the matter and decide on possible alternatives, which can only take place after a feasibility study is undertaken on each option.

“The subject was addressed to bodies at various levels, but conclusion has not been reached,” said Seid.

AFD and the Ethiopian government signed a loan agreement for EUR 70.5 million in 2017, with the project expected to be finalized in 2019. Despite this, the company was compelled to prolong the project by three years in 2019 due to the same difficulties.

AFD, which is funding the project, has invested EUR 525 million in Ethiopia since 1997 and has sponsored 50 projects in the last 20 years.

According to Seid, the fund agreement for the relocation of the slaughterhouse with AFD is still in effect.

“Since other countries are also willing to provide us with a loan, the issue of the fund is not a big deal right now,” Seid said, adding, “What bothers us is the issue of the land.”

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