Dozens Killed in Addis Ababa Trash Dump Landslide

The death toll in the landslide at a major rubbish dump on the outskirts of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa has risen to 48.

The Koshe dumping yard has been the main landfill for Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian Capital, for more than four decades.

The landslide buried crude homes built at the dump which serves the Ethiopia's capital city and some concrete buildings.

The 50-year-old dumpsite is inhabited by hundreds of people who make their living by scavenging for food and recyclable items which they can sell. City officials stopped using the landfill several years ago, but were recently forced to resume dumping at the site. At least 37 people have been pulled from under the trash alive and are receiving treatment, Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma told AFP.

Another resident, Tebeju Asres said that the family's house had been swallowed by the landslide. They are also working to relocate residents to other neighborhoods.

Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, whose house was narrowly spared destruction, said the disaster happened in "three minutes". "Now I don't know the fate of all of them", he said to AP News Agency.

Numerous victims were squatters who scavenged for a living in the 30-hectare (74-acre) dump.

City officials in recent years have been trying to turn the rubbish into a source of clean energy with a US$120 million (Dh440m) investment. It is expected to generate about 25 megawatt hours of power once completed.

Ethiopia has one of Africa's fastest-growing economies and is predicted by the World Bank to become a middle-income country by 2025.

  • Audrey Hill