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777 pensions added in last four years
According to Addis Ababa Culture and Tourism Bureau, the amount of pensions, a type of guest house or boarding house, in Addis Ababa is dramatically increasing. According to a recent study they conducted, there are currently 1,089 pensions which is an increase of 777 pensions in ten sub cities of Addis.
Four years ago there were only 312 pensions in the city. The increasing population, the rural to urban migration and the high number of prostitutes are creating a high demand for pensions.
According to the study, Addis Ketema Sub City, which is the business hub of the city has the most pensions at 290. While Bole and Arada have a total of 289 and 161 pensions respectively. Nifas Silke has the least with 31 pensions.
Over the last four years, on average 16 pensions have opened every month in Addis Ababa. They are mostly used for sex by couples and prostitutes. Previously the pensions were used for short term stays. Now because of the lucrative business of renting rooms many have partitioned their houses and changed them into pensions.
Most of the pensions are concentrated in Haya Hulet, Saris, Adisu Gebya, Megenagana, Sebategna, Kotebe, Piassa and Bole. They often have only a bed and a shower but they charge customers between 100-400 birr for the room for a few hours or a night. They often are fully booked over the weekend.
The City requires that pensions have a neat room, bed, shower, a table and chair.
But according to trade experts many bars and houses are providing pension services without notifying the Trade Bureau.
An expert from the Trade Bureau who requested anonymity told Capital “I don’t believe there are only 1,089 pensions. If you go around Bole and Haya Hulet there are many houses that provide pension services without paying taxes to the government and if we add these houses the number would be much higher.’’
Addis Ababa Culture and Tourism Bureau who said, it is working to follow a new system which prohibits pensions around schools.
Mesay Demissie Vice Head of the Bureau told Capital, “like the Education Bureau which prohibited selling Khat around schools, we will do the same things to pensions as soon as we get approval from the city council.”
The study was conducted to determine the exact number of hotels, bars, restaurants, parks, groceries and nightclubs. It showed that bars are dramatically increasing as well. There are 1,414 places serving only alcohol whereas six years ago there were only 500. Like the pensions the bars are concentrated in Bole Medhanealem, Kasanchis, Piassa, Haya Hulet, Wello Sefer, and Olympia.