City Expands, Renovates Oldest Zoo


First phase of expansion concludes with five million Birr investment




The Addis Abeba City Administration is investing 28 million Br for in the renovation and expansion of the Addis Zoo Park Center, located in the Sidist Kilo neighbourhood close to Addis Abeba University.

The 12ha-expansion will include a playground, animal sculptures, a picnic area, reading and sitting areas, an aquarium and an aviary. Upon completion, it will house 12 species of wildlife including lions, Gelada baboons, monkeys and birds. It is also expected to create job opportunities for 80 people and attract between 2.5 million to three million visitors a year.

Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation (ECWC), which has 15,000 employees, operates with a capital of 20 billion Br and was formed by merging three public enterprises, was hired to design the park and undertake construction. The zoo, which has been serving 1.4 million visitors a year, was closed a year ago for expansion and rehabilitation work carried out in two phases.

The first phase of the expansion, which included the construction of seven cottages inside the zoo compound, was completed six months ago by Yot Construction Plc at a cost of five million Birr.

“After going operational, it will generate 25 million to 30 million Br a year,” said Musie Kiflom (MD), director general of the Addis Zoo Park.

The construction schedule calls for the park to be finalized before the end of September.

“I am afraid that the contractor will not finish the construction, according to the timetable,” Musie told Fortune.

However, the contractor pledges that it will deliver the project within the scheduled time despite challenges it is facing.

Difficulties in late approval of the building permit, advance payments and relocating dwellers near the area are the significant challenges the contractor mentioned.

“In addition, the price of construction input materials has drastically spiked,” said Wendemu Seta, deputy director general of the ECWC in charge of building construction.

Established in 1947 by Haile Selassie I, Addis Zoo started operations with three lions six decades ago, and remained the lone zoo in the capital. The City Administration is building another zoo, Peacock Park, on 36ha in Bole District. The project is under construction by Defence Construction Enterprise for 91.2 million Br, and is reported to be 96pc completed. Upon completion, it is expected to generate revenues of 167 million Br to 217 million Br a year.

“The zoo can play a significant role in hosting and promoting the natural heritage of the city and the country as well,” said Worku Mengesh, communications director of Addis Ababa Culture & Tourism Bureau.

Fisseha Asres, managing director of Afro Hospitality Management & Support, agrees with Worku. He believes that the country is not working enough on zoo development, considering its endemic wildlife resources.

“As tourism has a potential to support the economy next to agriculture, the country needs to have more zoos,” said Fisseha.



By YONATAN BELAY
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Jul 21,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 951]


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