Sunday 12 March 2017

Dozens dead following landlside at Addis Ababa land fill site.

Forty eight people have been confirmed dead and as many as 150 may still be buried in debris following a landslide at the Koshe Garbage Landfill Site in Addis Ababa on Saturday 11 March 2017. A further 37 people have been dug from the debris alive and are being treated in a local hospital. Most of those who died are thought to have been women and children who worked as scavengers on the site, searching the rubbish for items that can be resold or recycled, though many people also live in makeshift homes on the site.

Rescue workers at the Koshe Garbage Landfill Site in Addis Ababa, following the 11 March 2017 landslide. AFP.

The Koshe Garbage Landfill Site has been in use since the 1960s, and has previously suffered a number of fatal landslides. Dumping rubbish at the site was stopped several years ago due to concerns about its safety. However farmers operating close a new landfill site that was supposed to replace it were able to block the use of that location, and tipping was switched back to the Koshe site. A modern waste-burning power plant, intended to replace land fill completely is currently under construction near Koshe, while authorities in Addis Ababa are looking into how to relocate people living on the site.

A police cordon around the Koshe Garbage Landfill site preventing people from accessing the site which rescue teams sift through the debris. Elias Meseret/AP.

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