Plans to construct a new abattoir, worth over 70 million Euros in Hanna Mariam area, have been suspended by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, Capital learnt.
The aviation authority alleges that the abattoir, to be constructed nine kilometers from Bole International Airport, will bring flocks of birds that could get in the way of airplanes.
The Addis Ababa Abattoirs Enterprise (AAAE) has already spent 20 million birr on an exploration study carried out by South African, New Zealander and Australian professionals, who insist that the slaughter house will not interfere with airplanes flights.
Though some improvements were made to old abattoirs to increase capacity, expansion and upgrading projects were hampered by limited space availability. To get around this shortcoming, the new abattoir in Hanna Mariam was intended to give new services such as slaughtering for export. If constructed, the abattoir is expected to process 14,000 live animals per day, and sit on 34,000 square meters of land.
Malri Wedajehune, Vice Head of Projects with AAAE, said the new slaughter house would result in a reduction of swarming of birds, rather than an increase. “There are five locations near Bole International Airport and Hana Mariam where illegal slaughtering is conducted and as a resulat many vultures gather in these places to scavenge the leftovers. The aviation authority doesn’t seem to recognize this,” he said.
He added that negotiations are underway with the Civil Aviation Authority in an attempt to convince it that the new slaughterhouse would not have any impact on flights.
“We have told the aviation authority that everything would be done behind closed doors, even the waste is treated indoors. We have visited abattoirs in Ireland, which are located five and seven kilometers away from airports and birds didn’t gather nearby because the abattoirs were managed through modern techniques. We will mange it the same way as the abattoirs we have visited there.”
“We’ve presented our proposal to the aviation authorities. I hope they’ll accept our proposal and an agreement will be made soon.”
Wondim Teklu, Head of PR at the Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE) told Capital that discussions are still ongoing regarding the construction of the abattoir. “As far as I know, discussion are still ongoing on the preconditions such as sanitation of the new abattoir as well as measures the aviation authority would take if the abattoir’s activities cause flight interruptions. The AAAE has shared with us the experience of abattoirs in Ireland; but we have to understand the birds there are not the same as the vultures here; we need to consider the size of the bird,” he said.