"Addis Ababa Sheraton Area"

Addis Ababa Sheraton is located in the Arada and Kirkos districts

The relocation of residents living in the area behind the Sheraton Addis Hotel has been postponed by two weeks amid their complaints of insufficient compensation from the Arada and Kirkos districts.

Although the residents were told to move by Wednesday, July 7, 2010, the districts had to push the date back by a fortnight as residents have not yet received any plot allocation of the land meant for their relocation from the Addis Abeba City Administration.

The 42ht of land where the residents are now, was allotted for the expansion of the Sheraton Addis Hotel, on Taitu Street, and lies in two separate districts. The land is divided into 27ht in Arada and 15ht in Kirkos.

Residents, who live on the land, are unhappy about the amount of money they were offered as compensation, the area they are to be relocated to, and state of the condominium houses where some of them are to live. The plots, to be given to the residents, are located in the Bole Ayat area on a 42ht plot; at Ayat Village on a 16ht plot; and two plots around the CMC area which are 0.9ht and four hectares in size, according to Anteneh.

“Residents who own their houses are provided with compensation [in accordance with] the kind of house they have and rent money for one year,” Anteneh Assefa, land development bank and city renewal project director of the Arada District told Fortune. “Those who used to live in a kebele house are provided with the condominiums.”

Residents voiced their dissatisfaction with the arrangement at a meeting with officials from Arada District, held on Thursday, July 8, 2010.

People who own their houses complained about the compensation they received, which was calculated using the valuation of their property based on the construction cost of it in 2005.

“The amount I received from them is not even enough to start the foundation of the house, let alone to construct the house,” a resident, who owned a three-bedroom house and wished to remain anonymous, told Fortune.

She was paid 65,000 Br as compensation and rent money for a year, to be used until she finishes construction of her house, she said.

“The amount does not take the current market value into consideration at all. I took the money because I was told I might not get [any] if the money is returned to government coffers,” she said.

While many people were told to collect their money as the yearly budget was being finalised, there were many who did not, but that does not mean they will not get their money back, said Anteneh, allaying the concerns of the residents.

“The money will be put in a closed account and the residents can collect it anytime they want,” he said.

Now many residents are demanding revaluation of their property. At the meeting on Thrusday, officials from the Arada District agreed that the properties could be revaluated, but warned residents that the final price valuation would count, whatever the outcome.

They cited an example of a case where a property was revaluated at 59,000 Br less than the original price offered. The residents interpreted the anecdote as an attempt to intimidate them.

Furthermore, residents worried about of a lack of utilities, like electricity and water, in the areas allotted for relocation. The residents living in kebele houses also complained about the state of the condominium houses they were being relocated to.

“From the amount of work we are doing in renovations, I feel as if we are building the houses from scratch,” one resident said.

So far 659 kebele house residents have received their condominiums, after paying the 20pc premium, according to Kedir Arebo, manager of the Arada District.

The relocation project began in 2007 but there are 304 house owners, and 341 kebele house residents, who have not received their land or condominium houses yet.

The 42ht of land where the residents are now, was allotted for the expansion of the Sheraton Addis Hotel, on Taitu Street, and lies in two separate districts. The land is divided into 27ht in Arada and 15ht in Kirkos.

By Eden Sahle AddisFortune.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*