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Mr. Kebede Abebe, the National Director of Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia will give a seminar on 

Welcome Home: Prioritising Housing for Vulnerable Groups in Ethiopia

Thursday 20 February 2014, 14:00, Large Conference Room, O’Reilly Institute

Ethiopia has a population of more than 93 million people, who speak more than 80 languages. The country is as big as France and Spain combined. However, poor living conditions are a challenge for many Ethiopians. Only 27 percent of the population have access to safe drinking water, and only 10 percent have access to sanitation facilities.

Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia was founded in 1993 and now builds in 13 communities. Habitat Ethiopia builds “improved-chika” houses, which are improved versions of traditional housing styles. This design enables Habitat to reach poor and vulnerable groups as the design is affordable, quick and easy to build and requires mainly locally available materials such as wood, soil, sand and stone. All houses are built in such a manner that families can add further rooms in the future and have a VIP latrine in a separate block. The programme’s success has acted as a catalyst for Habitat to develop housing interventions for vulnerable groups across Africa.

Habitat Ethiopia is also addressing the need for adequate sanitation by improving water infrastructure and providing pipelines from the water source to public water points, installing public latrines and offering hygiene education.

Mr. Kebede Abebe is National Director of Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia. Mr. Abebe has held this position since 2001 and has lead the development and implementation of some of Habitat Ethiopia’s most innovative programming, which includes “improved chika” house design, water & sanitation and kitchen improvement projects.

During 2011-12, Mr. Abebe was President of the Ethiopian Association of Civil Engineers. Mr. Abebe holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from Addis Ababa University and an MSc in Infrastructure Planning from the University of Stuttgart.

Prof. Siobhán Clarke
Director, Future Cities: The Trinity Centre for Smart and Sustainable Cities