According a 12/3/2017 BBC report, at least 48 people have been killed in a landslide at a vast rubbish dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, officials say. 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. The area has been a dumping ground for Addis Ababa’s rubbish for more than five decades. A city spokeswoman told AP news agency that many children were among the dead. There are fears the death toll could rise further.
According Al Jazzeera, the landslide late on Saturday levelled more than 30 makeshift homes of squatters living inside the Koshe landfill on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 37 people had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment. Many people at the site had been scavenging items to make a living, but others live at the landfill because renting homes, largely built of mud and sticks, is relatively inexpensive there.
Few months ago the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) called for a global coordination to close the world’s biggest dumpsites as a major contribution to Sustainability Development Goals. ISWA published the Roadmap for Closing the World’s Dumpsites and warned that due to urbanisation and the increase of the middle class income in the developing world, dumpsites are becoming a global health emergency that already results in more than 3 deaths per day.
The death toll in Addis Ababa highlights the urgent need for investments for proper waste management, especially in the developing world, as a key-measure to protect public health and advance in the Sustainability Development Goals. ISWA invites everyone to join the campaign for closing the world’s dumpsites. You can find different ways of involvement in this project here. For more you can visit ISWA’s new website http://closedumpsites.iswa.org and, at least, sign the declaration that calls for a global coordination against the risks of dumpsites.