Wednesday 13 December 2017

At least 15 dead and dozens missing in Ethiopia rubbish dump landslide

Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 15 bodies have been recovered since the landslide
Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 15 bodies have been recovered since the landslide

Fifteen people have been killed and dozens more are missing in a landslide at a massive rubbish dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital.

Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 15 bodies have been recovered since the landslide on Saturday night at the Koshe Garbage Landfill buried several makeshift homes and concrete buildings.

The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital's rubbish for more than 50 years.

About 150 people were at the site when the landslide occurred, said resident Assefa Teklemahimanot. The mayor said 37 people had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment.

Many people at the site had been scavenging items to make a living, but others live at the landfill because renting homes, largely built of mud and sticks, is relatively inexpensive there.

"In the long run, we will conduct a resettling program to relocate people who live in and around the landfill," the Addis Ababa mayor said.

City officials in recent years have been trying to turn the rubbish into a source of clean energy. The Koshe waste-to-energy facility, which has been under construction since 2013, is expected to generate 50 megawatts of electricity upon completion.

Ethiopia, which has one of Africa's fastest growing economies, is under a state of emergency imposed in October after several months of sometimes deadly protests demanding wider political freedoms.

Press Association

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