They say dozens of people are still missing since the landslide on Saturday night at the Koshe landfill. A resident said 150 people were there at the time. A number of makeshift houses are now buried under tonnes of waste. The area has been a dumping ground for Addis Ababa’s rubbish for more than five decades. Local resident Tebeju Asres told the AP news agency that the family’s house had been swallowed by the landslide.
“My mother and three of my sisters were there when the landslide happened. Now I don’t know the fate of all of them.” Many people had been scavenging at the site to make a living, and some even resided there permanently. There are fears that the death toll will rise further. The authorities have been building Africa’s first waste-to-energy plant near the landfill.
They plan to burn rubbish generated by the capital’s estimated four million people and convert it into electricity. Since 2010, city officials have warned the site was running out of room for trash.
Officials in recent years have been trying to turn the garbage into a source of clean energy with a $120mn investment. The Koshe waste-to-energy facility, which has been under construction since 2013, is expected to generate 50 megawatts of electricity upon completion.