From ‘Koshe’ to a public park

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The preliminary design for the Repi Dumpsite aka Koshe’s transformation into a public park is almost completed.

The design has been carried out by a local company Universal Consultants, Consulting Architects & Engineers and Hydea SPA, an Italian engineering, architectural and environmental architectural firm.
The project that is being carried out by the Addis Ababa City Administration in collaboration with Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Center and Network (HoARE&N) began in 2009 with the decision to close down the 50 year old dumpsite and move the landfill to Sendafa, in Oromia Special Zone.
“Once we know what it will look like and figure out the finances that are needed, we will look into potential funding sources. We expect the overall design to be finished within the next year,” said Araya Asfaw (PhD), Executive Director of HoARE&N. The overall cost of the project is yet to be known, according to Araya, “the estimation will be known within the next month after the designing companies submit preliminary design.”
The closing of the Repi Dumpsite was challenging and needed careful handling due to the packed methane gas. A gas collection and flaring system was put in place in collaboration with the City Administration and HoARE&N with financial support from the French Development Agency.
“The methane can be converted into energy but the problem is there are no parties that are interested, even the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) is not interested because we are talking about maybe about two megawatts. The city can also earn carbon credit by flaring the methane gas, these are the different possibilities,” Araya said.
According to Araya Asfaw, there are limitations regarding what can be built on the Repi landfill because it is not stable and the land may shift. “If something is built, it needs to be with a very light material. The public park, once completed, is expected to have educational and recreational facilities such as science and technology museum, drive in cinema and a botanical garden,” Araya said.
He also stated that it is difficult to determine exactly how long the project would take but estimations go up to five years. Setting up the management for the park once finished is also something that needs to be thought of well before hand, he stated.
HoARE&N is also working with the City Administration to upgrade 10 public parks around the city. “There are more than ten parks which are managed by the City Administration currently but the parks are not really providing the kind of service they should be. So the City Administration asked us to find out what the problems are and find out how these parks can become more useful,” Araya said.
He further said that the city administration is eager to make available more parks to the city but the issue of management, governance and the availability of well made facilities has been challenging.
“We are now working with the EiABC (Ethiopia Institute of Architecture Building Construction and City Development) to come up with ideas on what kind of facilities these parks should have. We are also trying to figure out the management issue; there are ideas to bring in the private sector for running the parks at a set standard meanwhile monitored by the City Administration,” Araya said.  
Currently, HoARE&N has chosen six parks for a pilot project. Among the selected ones are Cuba Park near Black Lion Hospital and Bihere Tsege located on Dereziet road. It is expected that within the next six months the pilot project will begin in the selected parks.