New Condos in Addis Ababa suffer from high crime rates

By Tesfaye Getnet

Addis Ababa’s condominiums are becoming sites of criminality, according to a new study from the Ministryof Urban Development and Housing (MUDH). The study revealed incidents of looting, sexual assault as well as human trafficking within the housing complexes, with Jemmo and Summit sites being deemed prone to higher levels of crime.

The ministry is concerned and is currently preparing new regulation to ensure security on condominium sites.

Tadesse Kebebew, Housing Planning Officer in MUDH told Capital, “Starting from social issues to those of safety and security, we have identified nine basic problems in our study, which have led us to prepare a new regulation to address the challenges.”

In addition to being victims of crime, the study reveals that dwellers can expect to be continually disturbed by bars and clubs located on their ground floor. Their health is also at risk with poor sanitation and weak drainage and sewerage systems in place and dust and residue from nearby chemical factories polluting the air, according to the study.

Not having a responsible organ for crucial functions such as repair leaves dwellers vulnerable, says Tadesse.

“The main problem lies in weak coordination between neighbors, which allows burglars and gangsters to do what they want. What the new regulation will do is create one strong association for every twelve to fifty blocks.”

Such associations will also have a focal person for every floor to facilitate meetings between dwellers and encourage discussions on common problems, including making decisions about getting rid of disturbing business, and forcing owners to repair their homes where they pose risks to others.

Tadesse added that not abiding by the new regulation could have severe consequences including losing homes.

“Every condo owner has the duty of working with the association, for example, if the association orders them to repair their house, they must repair it. If they don’t accept the order, the association will cover the cost and charge them to pay the money. If they don’t, the association has the right to sell the houses and remove them from there” he said.

Currently, more than 136,000 condo houses are located in Addis Ababa and the regulation is bound to affect the lives of many in condominiums.