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Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia

Contact information

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

Habitat's work in Ethiopia

Number of families served this year: 

Country Profile

Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia

Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia (HFHE) has been active since 1993. Since then it has helped thousands of families by building decent homes with improved water and sanitation facilities. HFHE 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. Only 30 percent of the current housing stock in country is in a fair condition, with the remaining 70 percent in need of total replacement. Countrywide access to safe drinking water is 49 percent countrywide and only 20.7 percent of the population has access to adequate sanitation (UNICEF, 2011).

In the capital 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. 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. Poor families do not have toilets at all or use too bad toilets that are nearly abandoned.

How Habitat adresses the need in Ethiopia

HFH Ethiopia’s work focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions, urban slum upgrading, assisting vulnerable groups with house construction and renovation and tenure security, and on researching and defining possibilities of working in partnership to achieve sectorial and societal impact. HFHE promotes and engages volunteers to advance its work by establishing long-term and project-based partnership with Habitat´s volunteer sending programs.

Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Ethiopia:

  • Homes for vulnerable groups and low-income families
    Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia helps families in moving out of poverty housing by constructing decent and affordable homes through the Vulnerable Groups Housing Program. The maximum monthly household income of the target beneficiaries is US$50 or less. Vulnerable Group 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 water and toilets. The supply of water to families also includes construction of large water service systems such as spring development, construction of service reservoirs, pumping systems and installation of main water lines for wider area coverage. Hygiene training is also provided for families and communities.
  • Urban slum upgrading
    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. The program also includes construction of healthy floors, walkways, ditches and solid waste management in slum areas.

Information on ongoing projects:

Fitche Integrated Vulnerable Housing Project will improve the living standards of 40 vulnerable families through healthy homes, community integration and a sustainable future.
Bisidimo VG Housing project aims at moving 34 families out of substandard housing to new and healthy homes.
Urban Slum Upgrading Project is being carried out to transform the living conditions of families who dwell in slum areas of Addis Ababa. It includes home improvements, construction of communal toilers, walk ways, ditches and solid waste management.

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

Connor Hanan, Associate Director of Programs
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa


Country facts:

Capital: Addis Ababa
Main country facts: Most populous landlock country in the world
Population: 99.4 million
Urbanization: 19.5 percent live in cities
Life expectancy: 61.5 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 16,000
Volunteers hosted: More than 1,690
Housing Solutions: Water and Sanitation; Renovations of dilapidated homes, walkways and ditches; Solid waste management in slum areas; Vulnerable groups housing /new construction and renovation