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Even though there have been many roads and buildings constructed in the last ten years, there have not been many parks.
As part of the Growth and Transformation Plan, the Addis Ababa Beautification Park and Cemetery Development Agency (BPCDA) planned to construct five new parks. These included: Ledeta, Basha Wolde, Nation and Nationality Square, and the parks beside Economic Commission for Africa and the Holland Embassy.
So far only the 12,000sqm Ledeta Park has been completed, at a cost of 26 million birr.
The other four parks are below forty percent complete. There has recently been the beginning of reconstruction of two parks Ethio-Cuba and Akaki Kaliti.
Including the two parks that are being refurbished Addis Ababa has allocated 300 million birr.
Akaki is 62,518sq.m and is being built at a cost of 59 million birr. The 27,226s.qm Ethio-Cuba is the cheapest at 9 million birr.
BPCDA Deputy Manger Dereje Ejeta told Capital, “We didn’t have any problems with planning, the difficulty we faced was that there were few people with experience in building parks here, we wasted almost two years posting tenders repeatedly trying to find the right contractor, now the issue has been resolved and all of the parks are under construction.”
Most of the parks will cost two birr to enter. Some criticize this because they say there really are not a lot of amenities there to justify the fee.
Over the last nine months BPCDA has brought in a profit of 2.5 million birr from entrance fees, weddings, food service, and photos. Last year it earned around the same amount. The eleven old BPCDA administered parks have received 371,359 visitors.
Some of the new parks will feature shops, swimming pools, tennis courts, cafeterias and fountains. The agency is waiting for a response from a government construction agency to tender out the redesigns of Afincho Ber, Hamlae 19, and Behare Tsegae parks.
Among Addis parks Behare Tsegae is the biggest at 60 hectar. It was established forty nine years ago and it provides an area for weddings, park photos and a restaurant