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Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia

Contact information

PO Box 8953
Addis Ababa
Fax: +251 111570133
Phone: 111563181

Habitat's work in Ethiopia

Number of families served this year: 

Country Profile

Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia

Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia has been active since 1993. It runs a diverse, innovative program tailored to meet the local housing need.

The housing need in Ethiopia

The vast majority of Ethiopians live in poorly built, dilapidated and cramped houses which lack even the basic facilities, such as toilets. Around 90 percent of the urban houses and almost all rural houses are in poor condition (Ethiopian Central Statistical Authority) and 60 percent of the population lacks access to adequate sanitation facilities (WHO/ UNICEF).

In Addis Ababa, 80 percent of the houses are in poor condition and below standard. Houses in slum areas are old and dilapidated and too narrow to accommodate families, where the health and dignity of families is compromised. Most families who live in dilapidated homes in slum areas share toilets that are also in very poor conditions. The water supply satisfies only 60 percent of the demand of the population. 24 percent of the households do not have any form of toilet facility and 63 percent use shared pit latrines. 25 percent of the solid waste generated from the city is left unattended. Only 18 percent of households in Addis Ababa have access to sanitation facilities. Poor families do not have toilets at all or use too bad toilets that are nearly abandoned.

How Habitat adresses the need in Ethiopia

Habitat Ethiopia constructs new homes, renovates old and dilapidated homes, constructs toilets and water service facilities and provides improved kitchens. Along with other services for families, HFH Ethiopia constructs Improved Chika Houses (ICH). Chika is fermented soil, mixed with water and grass/straw. Chika houses can be built anywhere and are the most affordable local housing solution.

Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Ethiopia:

  • Homes for low-income families and vulnerable groups
    Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia helps families in moving out of poverty housing by constructing decent and affordable houses through long term no-profit and no-interest loans. The target beneficiaries are low income families with a maximum monthly household income of US$50 or less. Vulnerable Group (VG) Housing is a housing program where extremely needy and vulnerable families with complex poverty, health and disability problems become homeowners with none or limited contributions in building the houses. The disabilities can be physical, mental or visual.
  • Water and sanitation services
    This program involves construction of toilets and water supply systems for low-income families. These services are provided to families who live in urban slum areas with extremely poor sanitation and limited water supply. The project provides communal stand pipes and shared meter water taps. The supply of water to families also includes construction of large water service system development such as spring development, construction of service reservoirs, pumping systems and installation of main water lines for wider area coverage.
  • Slum upgrade
    The costs of such renovations are often greater than similar new houses built on an open sub-urban land. The program serves vulnerable families living in dilapidated houses in slum areas which are fully renovated to make them habitable and decent. The houses are often torn down and rebuilt.
  • Kitchen improvement
    Improved kitchens help in reducing quantities of fire wood consumed and also smoke emissions to the environment at least by 50-60 percent. This helps in reducing cost of fuel wood for families and also improves health of family members. The additional impacts are also reduction of deforestation and soil erosion.


Meet a Habitat family

Mersha Gebre Hana used to live with her six children in a narrow shabby home which she rented for 6 USD a month, a quarter of their tiny income from shoe shining part-time job of her two sons. Mersha lost both of her hands when fire had broken out in her previous home and she had to save her son. The family is one of Habitat Ethiopia´s Vulnerable Groups program beneficiaries to whom houses are given without a mortgage payment. Mersha was very excited when she was told that she would become a Habitat home owner. Haile, who was rescued from the fire by his mom, can now fulfill his dream to study in a safe, clean home. He also said: “Our old home was right next to an unclean communal toilet. Now we live in a clean home, sleepless nights are over!’’

What you can do

You can help Ethiopian families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:


Go to and designate your gift to Habitat Ethiopia.


Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Ethiopia or lead your own. For more information go to:


Establish a strong and rewarding tithe partnership to help build houses globally! Quote 862700, ETHIOPIA on your checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 121 Habitat St. Americus, GA 31709


To learn more about Habitat projects in Armenia or in other parts of the region, please contact us.

Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia

Serge Andriamandimby, Program Manager
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa


Country facts:

Capital: Addis Ababa
Main country facts: Most populous landlock country in the world
Population: 96.6 million
Urbanization: 17 percent live in cities
Life expectancy: 60 years
Unemployment rate: 17.5 percent
Population living below poverty line: 39 percent

Find more country facts on:
CIA The World Factbook – Ethiopia


Habitat facts:

When the program started: 1993
Families served: More than 14,000
Volunteers hosted: More than 1,300
Housing Solutions: New homes, Renovations of dilapidated homes, Water and sanitation, Vulnerable groups housing, Improvements of kitchens