Menalesh Terra is a section of Mercato in Addis Ababa where everything that used to be anything finds its way. It could be called the recycle centre of Addis Ababa, with one very large exception, recycling is not done here, reusing everything is. Items are simply repurposed – given another use. Old plastic oil containers become water cans; old tin cans become oil lamps; chinese metal oil containers become small stoves; 40 gallon drums become sinks.
Wandering through the tight alleyways of Menalesh Terra you could be forgiven for thinking it is a dumping ground. Piles of yellow oil containers, scrap metal, paint tins and food tins line the walls, walkways and roofs of Menalesh Terra. But everything eventually finds another purpose.
I was most inspired by the people who live and work in Menalesh Terra. They are the friendliest people I have come across in Addis Ababa. They readily say hello and invite you to see what they are selling, making or storing. We have had many a good laugh with new friends in Menalesh Terra.