Razed Neighborhoods – Three Images Are All That’s Left
by John Downey
As part of an agressive, five-year transformation plan by the Ethiopian government, Addis Ababa is undergoing a significant transformation. The city is morphing overnight as roads are paved, high-rises are going up like Legos, and industrial complexes just beyond the urban limits are sprouting in all directions.
These are images of the last three ramshackle houses standing in an otherwise open, muddy lot about the size of four or five baseball fields. It seemed the houses were bulldozed overnight. One day they were there and the next, an entire neighborhood was gone.
Fortunately I was wearing heavy boots (that became heavier every step I made into who-knows-what). Some of the remaining tenants showed up within minutes to check things out. Then two city cops showed up and shooed them off. They couldn’t speak English, save for “dangerous, dangerous.” So they escorted me through a few more shots and we all stomped our boots off in the street.