The historical, Tesfa Gebreslassie Printing Press, a landmark in Arat Killo, is cracking because of the effects of a nearby construction.
Tesfa’s son, Te’ebeb told Capital that the building will be destroyed if things continue like this.
“There are new cracks in the building every day, we have asked the government for help but there has not been a response. The problem is the construction which is taking place less than five meters from the house.”
“Recently the Addis Ababa Cultural and Tourism Bureau wrote a letter asking those constructing buildings nearby to fix the cracks but this request has fallen on deaf ears. I can assure you the building will be destroyed if the cracking continues like this,” he added.
The building was registered as a historical heritage four years ago. In 2010 it, along with several other older homes in Arat Kilo, was scheduled for demolition. However, after much debate the municipality took 5,000sqm from the printing building and left 2,055sqm to Tesfa Gebreslassie to continue the printing business. Tesfa has applied for a title deed many times but has not received one so far.
According to regulations on heritage sites any new construction should be at least 200 meters away. However, due to poor supervision, many new buildings are being built in close to the proximity of historical sites.
The building, located at Arat killo lies on 2,055sqm in a fenced compound. It is made of stones and mud and has been publishing materials for 100 years.
Tesfa Gebreselassie was born in Bulga, Gojam. He is known for preparing the Ethiopian Alphabet in sequential order and he developed the printing business to publish religious and educational books. He also fought the Italians and was given the title Dejazmach. He died 18 years ago and was buried in Entoto Church.
The printer employs 70 people who work on eight machines.