Ethiopian landslide kills 46, dozens more missing

A massive landslide at garbage dump outside Addis Ababa kills at least 46 people, many others are missing.

Arutz Sheva Staff, | updated: 19:20

Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
צילום: אייסטוק

Forty-six people were killed in a landslide at a massive garbage dump on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Thirty-seven were injured and several dozen people are missing, according to reports by officials and residents Sunday.

Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said earlier in the day that 15 bodies had been recovered since the landslide Saturday night at the Koshe Garbage Landfill buried several makeshift homes and concrete buildings nearby. The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital's garbage for more than 50 years.

About 150 people were at the site when the landslide occurred, according to local reports. The mayor said that so far 37 people had been extricated and were receiving medical treatment.

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

The resumption of garbage dumping at the site in recent months likely caused the landslide, according to local reports. The dumping had stopped in recent years, but resumed after farmers in a nearby region blocked dumping in a new landfill in their area.

Smaller landslides have occurred at the Koshe landfill in the past two years but only two or three people were killed, a local resident said.

"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.

Some 500 waste-pickers are believed to work at the landfill daily, sorting through the detritus from the capital's estimated 4 million residents. City officials say close to 300,000 tons of waste are collected each year from the capital and most of it is dumped at the Koshe landfill.

Since 2010, city officials have warned that the landfill was running out of room and was being closed in by nearby housing and schools.

City officials in recent years have invested 120 million dollars into turning the garbage facility 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.