‘The Little Ethiopia’ Pleads For Help

By Berhane Hailemariam

Berhan Ethiopia Cultural Center, which is also known as ‘The Little Ethiopia’, received a short five-day notice to demolish its fences sculptured with Ethiopian historical sites, for road construction purposes.

The centre was built 13 years ago with the initial material cost of five million Birr, excluding the intangible cost of design and consultancy provided by architects and engineers who participated in the construction on a voluntary basis.

Founded by Sabella Abay, the centre, located in Qirqos District close to the African Union (AU) headquarters, has been promoting the country with a motto of “Little Ethiopia in Addis & Experience Ethiopia in one place.”

berhan centre

The centre occupies 960 sqm of land and is equipped with replicas of the architectural, cultural and traditional treasures of the country, including Fasiledes Castle, Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela, the Wall of Harar and traditional sculptures and carvings of the Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples’ regional states of the country.

Recently, the Kirkos District Land Management Bank & City Renewal project Office warned the owner of Berhan Ethiopia Cultural Center to demolish the fence.

The Office posted a letter on the wall of the centre on July 11, 2017, notifying her to report to the office within five days, mentioning the land which the fence rests on is designated for road construction, which extends from Bole Airport to AU. The construction of the road, which is 30m wide, was already started two years ago, reaching over 75pc completion. The Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) budgeted more than half a billion Birr for the whole project.

The owner refuses to let experts of the Office take measurements of the area that is going to be cleared for the road, reads the notice letter of the Office.

Sabella objects to the accusation that she resisted allowing them to take measurements at her house. She said they did not notify her in advance, they just came and posted the warning at the centre.

“They already entered and took the measurements five metres towards my home,” said Sabella.

Source: allafrica.com

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