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At least 50 dead after landslide at Ethiopian garbage dump

At least 50 dead after landslide at Ethiopian garbage dump

Some people had been living at the dump outside Addis Ababa, with officials vowing to relocate those who called it home.

"These people. had no option but to live and work in such a hazardous environment because of the government's failure to protect their right to adequate housing and decent work", the group said in a statement.

Koshe, whose name means "dirt" in local slang, was closed past year by city authorities who asked people to move to a new dump site outside Addis Ababa. One woman and her three children managed to scramble to safety just as their home became caught up in the landslide, according to the NGO.

"Their livelihood depends on the trash".

Families that lived in makeshift houses near the area have gathered at the scene to seek information about missing relatives even as hopes fade of finding anyone alive.

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"This part, all of it went down", he said, gesturing at a huge chunk of the hill that suddenly slid. Bystanders believe there are several still trapped under the piles of rubbish, AFP reported on Sunday.

Rescue crews are still searching for survivors and officials are investigating what caused the dump to collapse.

The incident comes as farmers in the nearby region keep staging protests against a brand new Sendafa Landfill located in Oromia Zone, forcing authorities to use the Koshe dump, thus overstretching its capacity. Though poverty has fallen faster in Ethiopia than in the rest of sub-Sarahan Africa, about 30% of the population still lives in poverty.

The government is also working to resettle the people.


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