Title: Integrated livelihood and slum development in Zenebework Community, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Background Information

The project site, Zenebework community living area is the slum surrounding ALERT hospital which is one of the overcrowded parts of Addis Ababa. Many NGOs especially TLMI has been involved in this locality since the 1960s. Initially work was contained within the ALERT hospital compound, but since the early 1990s TLMI has supported various projects implemented by the Ethiopian National Association of People Affected by Leprosy (ENAPAL) in the project area.

 I conducted a study of the needs in particular in a leprosy community in Kolfe Keranio Sub city of the Addis Ababa metropolis for the fulfilment of the assignment for health people, healthy community course. Accordingly to the study  it is found that Kolfe Keranio Sub city consists of 15 districts with a total population size 409,172 people having a total area of 5,143 ha with population density of 79.55/ha. Among the dwellers of the Sub city about 10,615 HHs’ do not have sufficient access of clean water, 4,805 HHs’ do not have access of any type of latrines but only 28,236 HHs’ have access  to  communal latrines whereas about 43,492 HHs’ out of the total have private latrines. Kolfe Keranio Sub city as a whole is upgrading area but it has not yet involved in local development program.

Problem statements

Many people lack access of sufficient basic sanitation facilities and almost a population of over 24,000 people have access to just 50 latrine blocks, each containing four toilets besides this many of which have overflow and in poor structural conditions. Also water provision with insufficient pressure is another issue, particularly for disabled people who are unable to walk long distances to collect water. Faeces are commonly found in the street; flies are prolific, and communicable diseases such as typhoid, typhus and diarrhoea are endemic. Regarding the distribution of level of health facilities in this site, there are ten which composed of 1 Hospital, 1 Higher clinic, 7 Medium clinic and 1 Lower clinic.  These inadequate accesses of basic sanitation facilities namely; latrines, showers, solid and liquid waste disposal systems and their poor housing conditions leads the community to live in an extremely polluted and unhealthy environment (MDG7), which has an impact on child mortality rates (MDG4).

Significant number of the community is composed of people affected by leprosy, migrants looking for work, and to some extent commercial sex workers.  With income almost non-existent for these groups, many resorts to picking their food from the neighboring rubbish dump and depend on others support to survive.  It has been investigated that the livelihood of most of the leprosy affected people and people living with disabilities depend on begging and others support. In addition to this due to economic problem most of the area settlers unable to send their children to school. Rather they prefer to go with them to collect alms or send a nearby Addis Ababa dumping site to the poor housing condition and the peoples’ deep poverty in the area reveals.

Besides this the increasing rate of urbanization and migration of rural people to the area following the leprosy affected people and their settlement in the adjoin districts of Zenebework community ALERT hospital has fueled the existing complex socio economic and health problems by creating critical gaps in use of basic health services.

Reasons for successful and unsuccessful projects

According to FGDs result, in order to solve the community problems, there are thirty two different projects have been implemented by fourteen different NGOs for the last six years but they could not able to bring any significant changes on the life of the community. The key informants and focus group discussions are identified the root causes of why many projects have not been sustainable in the area. The implemented projects in the area are not well served the community because most of the projects after phasing out are not functional and community are reluctant to manage and control the project activities.  

Even though, many NGOs have worked different projects for the benefit of the community, still the problems are existed so as all community representatives agreed as the root causes  for not brought change on the life of the community and why projects are not sustainable because;

  • The community were not involved in the project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • During phasing out projects, communities have not delivered properly and they do not have known how to handle projects activities.
  • The projects were not addressed the needs of the community
  • The main causes of successful projects were active involvement of the community on project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation by contributing, labor, cash, indigenous knowledge and leadership. Some projects were successful which CBI had implemented or played project leading role.

The comparative advantage of this project

The assessment of the study revealed the reasons of successful and unsuccessful projects in the community which had implemented so far. The FGDs, KIs and stories are magnified the involvement of the community in the project planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation were minimal so projects did not address the needs of the community.

The reasons for successful projects were active involvement of the community in the project planning. Learning from previous projects, this project proposal has been designed with the high involvement of community by assessed the previous projects, identified major problems and root causes of the problem, capacity of the community and proposed solutions for the community.  


Major problems Identified

To sum up, the followings are the main causes of the existing problems are found to be;

  • In various reason high number of orphan vulnerable children avail
  • Discrimination and marginalization of the people
  • Low living standards of the people
  • No proper waste disposal system
  • Inadequate water pressure in  the water supply system in most of the intervention areas
  • Poor housing condition
  • Malnutrition (many people are begging for food, or even picking food from rubbish dumps)
  • Poor health and ignorance about preventable communicable disease, HIV prevention (large number of commercial sex workers)
  • Large number of disabled people (leprosy and non-leprosy)
  • High unemployment abject poverty
  • Severe overcrowding
  • Inadequate access to health services (leprosy and the poor people unable to afford the charges at ALERT and other hospitals)

Owing to the depth and complexity of these problems I with community-based organization leaders and representatives designed this project document to mitigate the analyzed and observed gab of the community who dwell in the slum areas of Zenebework, district 01 in Kolfe Keranio Sub-city, Addis Ababa.