Ethiopia: Search for bodies at landfill disaster could take months


ESAT News (March 20, 2017)

Rescue workers watch as excavators dig into a pile of garbage in search of missing people following a landslide when a mound of trash collapsed on an informal settlement at the Koshe garbage dump in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

The search for dead bodies at the site of a landfill in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa could take months, emergency workers told Reuters news agency.

Residents say at least 80 people are still missing after the landslide, according to the report.

At least 117 bodies were dug out of the garbage, official figures show. But locals dispute that figure saying as many as 200 might have been buried when the mountain of garbage collapsed on the night of March 11.

Excavators and bulldozers still dig at the site of the landfill looking for bodies. But residents said enough machineries were not provided in time to find survivors.

Locally called Koshe, Amharic for garbage, the site has been the city’s dumping ground for over 50 years. An estimated 500 waste pickers call Koshe home, scavenging for food and salvaging items for sale. The majority of the victims live in makeshift shelters.