At least 46 dead after a trash landslide at Koshe Garbage Landfill in Ethiopia

The landslide occurred at Koshe Garbage Landfill located on the outskirts of Addis Ababa

  • At this time 46 are reported dead but that number could still grow higher

  • Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 37 have been rescued from the landslide of trash

  • An estimated 500 people come to the dump everyday to rummage through the trash for items to sell

  • The area is just months away from beginning a waste-to-energy project that will eliminate 350,000 tons of trash annually while producing 50 Megawatts of energy

At least 46 are dead after a “mountain of rubbish” collapsed at an enormous dumping site on the outskirts Ethiopia’s Capital, Addis Ababa.

It was reported that the majority of the dead were women and children. Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma stated that at least 37 had been rescued and were being provided with medical treatment.

Koshe Garbage Landfill

The landslide of trash covered several makeshift homes and concrete buildings at the Koshe Garbage Landfill. The word koshe is an Amharic word meaning “dirty.” The incident occurred on Saturday night, but officials are still not sure what caused the collapse.

The site had been used for dumping the 4 million residents of Addis Ababa’s trash for 50-years. Dumping had stopped for several years until recently when farmers blocked dumping near the area of a new landfill.

Saturday’s catastrophe is not the first time there has been a landslide of trash at Koshe. However, this is the largest. Several people were said to have died in smaller collapses in the past.

At the time of Saturday’s spill, there were said to be roughly 150 people in the area. It is estimated that 500 people come to pick through the waste at Koshe every day hoping to find items they can sell. Others live at Koshe in homes primarily made out of mud and sticks due to the low cost.

Kuma stated that there was a long-term relocation plan for those living at Koshe. “In the long run, we will conduct a resettling program to relocate people who live in and around the landfill.”

The Koshe Waste-to-Energy Facility

City officials have warned that Koshe was becoming too full since 2010. The dumping site was being closed in by growing housing and schools.

On January 4, 2013, Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) struck a deal with Cambridge Industries, a United Kingdom-based firm, for a 120 million USD waste-to-energy project.

The Koshe Waste-to-Energy facility will be able to consume 350,000 tons of waste annually through a controlled combustion process to generate 50 Megawatts of electricity. In September of 2016, it was announced that the plant was at 87% completion.

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About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist at night.

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