AAU Begins Renovation of Old Houses for Humble Citizens in the Capital

Addis Ababa University (AAU) started renovating old and dilapidated houses for humble citizens residing in Arada and Addis Ketema Sub-Cities of the capital, Addis Ababa, on the 4th of September 2021.

In addition to Addis Ababa University’s teaching and research activities, it has started the renovation of houses in the two Sub-Cities as part of its community service work which is also intended to continue in other sub-cities of the capital and other parts of the country.

The renovation program started with the presence of Professor Tassew Woldehana, president of AAU, senior executives and students of the University in Arada Sub-City, Woreda 6 and Addis Ketema Sub-City, Woreda 3, commonly known as Kebele 24 Amanuel area.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Tassew Woldehana said that Addis Ababa University has been allocating up to 150 million Birr annually through its community service for national social activities.

“Addis Ababa is a city where the rich and the poor live in squalor; our University is working with this in mind as there are many people who do not have daily food and shelter; we are working with the results of research to change the lives of these people,” Prof. Tassew said.

According to Prof. Tassew, though the program started by renovating two houses in the two Sub-Cities each with six families, the work is to escalate in other Sub-Cities, such as Gullele, Kirkos, Lideta, Yeka and the rest, moving to set an example for others.

The renovation is expected to cost up to 200,000 birr per house, Prof. Tassew stated, the main purpose of AAU is to set an example for all those who can and to encourage the community to support the needy and strengthen the existing culture of solving problems together.

Shalom Awe, AAU Students’ Council president, stated that this activity is very important for learning by doing for civil engineering students who have actively engaged in the program in design planning, proposal dispatching and contacting different investors. This is also a good value for students’ unity and helping each other, he added.

Tamene Aklilu, Chief Executive Manager of Wereda 6, said that there are about eight volunteers including the AAU to renovate old and dilapidated houses, a program initiated by H.E. PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed, which is crucial to solve both shelter problems of the poor and one of the good governance challenges of the Wereda.

Finally, Hailu Leggese, one of the beneficiaries of the program, stated that he has been leading a horrible life with his 12 family members in a shanty house. It was beyond words to express his gratitude and appreciation to AAU, “something which is unexpected,” he said, filled with strong emotion.

By: Abraham Girmay

Photo: Andualem Aseffa