Landslide in rubbish dump kills 48 persons in Ethiopia

Landslide in rubbish dump kills 48 persons in Ethiopia

USA

At least 46 people are dead and several dozen are missing after a mountain of garbage collapsed at a dump outside Addis Ababa.

Officials said about 150 people were present at the large landfill when the slide happened.

Local residents said there were some 50 houses with around seven people living in each at the site.

"In the long run, we will conduct a resettling program to relocate people who live in and around the landfill", said Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma. Authorities aim to burn the garbage dumped at the landfill and convert it into electricity, BBC reported.

Tebeju Asres, an eyewitness said that his family's house was buried under the rubbish. One woman and her three children managed to scramble to safety just as their home became caught up in the landslide, according to the NGO. About 150 people were at the landfill when the landslide occurred, according to NPR, and many Ethiopians live in close proximity to the dump to take advantage of low-priced housing options.

A government representative said almost 300 people have now been moved.

A major landslide occurred on Saturday on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, killing more than 48 Ethiopians.

Use of the site had stopped but had recently restarted again, after farmers blocked dumping in their neighbourhood.

This is not the first landslide at the dump site, which stretches for more than 30 hectares and supports a hierarchy of scratchers who look for food, materials or resellable items in its muck.

"Around 500 waste-pickers are believed to work at the landfill every day, sorting through the debris from the capital's estimated 4 million residents".

  • Jack Replman