The landslide at the Koshe Garbage Landfill buried a number of makeshift homes and concrete buildings, with 113 people being reportedly dead up until now. As many as 150 people are believed to have been at the site during the landslide. The rescue teams continue their search operations, using excavators to dig through the tons of waste.
The garbage dump, which has served Addis Ababa for more than 50 years, provided shelter for some people, while around 500 waste-pickers are believed to work at the landfill every day, sorting through the debris from the capital's 4 million residents. Around 300,000 tons of waste are collected each year from the capital, most of it dumped at the landfill, according to the city's officials.
Investigators in Ethiopia are now trying to determine the cause of the collapse, while more than 350 residents have been moved from the site, according to officials.
Assefa Teklemahimanot, resident of the area, told The Associated Press that the resumption of garbage dumping at the site in recent months most likely caused the landslide. "The dumping had stopped in recent years, but it resumed after farmers in a nearby restive region, where a new garbage landfill complex was being built, blocked dumping in their area", Assefa said.
Addis Ababa Mayor, Diriba Kuma, stated that a resettling program to relocate people who live in and around the landfill will be set in motion in the long run.
Africa's first waste-to-energy plant is being built near the Koshe Garbage Landfill, with the aim to burn rubbish generated by Addis Ababa and convert it into electricity.