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  • Death toll in Koshe landfill collapse up sharply to 113

    (by Andegna) The death toll from a collapse at a landfill in Addis Ababa has risen to 113. Victims were mostly women and children. Hopes are waning for survivors as the country began three days of mourning and relatives have been waiting for missing ones.

    Saturday's collapse of a mountain of garbage buried makeshift mud-and-stick homes inside the Koshe landfill in the capital. Excavators and rescuers have been pulling bodies from the black mud since then. Meanwhile, residents from the capital are raising funds and collecting materials to support survivors and relatives of the victims. City Mayor Diriba Kuma told state broadcaster EBC the search-and-rescue effort soon would be completed and an investigation into the cause of the accident would begin.

    Dozens of homes of squatters who lived in the Koshe landfill site, in Addis Ababa, were flattened when the largest pile of rubbish collapsed on Saturday. It was not clear what caused Saturday night's collapse, though residents have said the dumping of trash had resumed there in recent months after protests at a newer Sendafa Sanitary Landfill.

    Officials said they have already relocated about 300 people from the landfill, where hundreds of waste-pickers salvaged items to make a living and others found inexpensive housing. The mayor said people whose family members died in the collapse have received money ranging from $430 to $650 each, and that they would be resettled permanently in the coming years.

    Image: Victims funeral 

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  • Neck cord (Mateb) row end-up in suicide

    Jimma University Teachers Training College student took his life after row over his neck cord (Mateb) with instructor.

    The argument over student’s neck cord began with the instructor when he told the student either to hide in or take out the neck cord while the student was standing in front of the class to present Psychology course assignment. However, the student refused to follow the order given by the instructor and the instructor also didn’t allow him to continue.

    After a while the two had quarreled over issue and mediated by other students and Academic Dean arrived to solve the issue however the problem between has continued for the remaining classes and end up in “No Grade” mark for the student and led him commit suicide by hanging himself at his residence compound, according to a local newspaper report.    

    Ethiopian Orthodox neck cord or Mateb is one of the most important and first sacraments of Christianity life as Ethiopian Tewahdo Christians is that of baptism.

    Image: Neck Cord (Mateb)

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  • Ethiopia declares three days of national mourning after landslide kills 65 people

    (by Andegna) The House of Peoples Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has declared, Tuesday, three days of mourning after a landslide at old rubbish dump in Addis Ababa killing at least 65 people. The Flag shall be flown at half-mast starting from Wednesday.

    The death toll has kept to increase as relatives are waiting for news of other missing.

    Dozens of homes of squatters who lived in the Koshe landfill site, in Addis Ababa, were flattened when the largest pile of rubbish collapsed on Saturday. It was not clear what caused Saturday night's collapse. Koshe means “dust” in local slang.

    Image: Searching for survivors - Koshe

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  • Rights group blames gov’t for dozens of deaths at rubbish dump

    Amnesty Internationalblamed Ethiopian government for the death of more than 60 people in a landslide at a vast rubbish dump in Addis Ababa over the weekend.

    It is a clear case of dereliction of duty by the Ethiopian authorities, said Amnesty International in statement on Monday. Dozens are still missing since the landslide at the 36-hectare Repi municipal dumpsite in Addis Ababa on 11 March, and many families have been left homeless after their makeshift houses were buried under tons of waste.

    “The Ethiopian government is fully responsible for this totally preventable disaster. It was aware that the landfill was full to capacity but continued to use it regardless. It also let hundreds of people continue to live in close proximity to it,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International's Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.  

    “These people, including many women and children, 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.”

    Now in its fifth decade, Repi – also known as Koshe, which means “dust” - is the oldest landfill in Addis Ababa, a city of more than 3.6 million people. More than 150 people were at the site when the landslide happened. Many of them had been scavenging items for sale while others lived there permanently, in unsafe makeshift housing.

    “The government must do everything in its power to account for all those who are missing, provide survivors with adequate alternative housing, and safe and healthy working conditions,” said Muthoni Wanyeki.

    “It must also ensure that a full-fledged inquiry is held to determine the specific causes of the landslide, and hold the individual officials responsible to account.”

    Image: Amnesty International

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  • Death toll reaches 62 in Koshe tragedy

    (by Andegna) At least 62 people have been dead in a giant landslide at old rubbish dump in Addis Ababa, confirmed sources on Monday evening, Ethiopian time. However, non-official sources claim death toll could be much higher. The search for survivors and more bodies has continued as relatives are waiting for news of those still missing.   

    Dozens of homes of squatters who lived in the Koshe landfill site, in Addis Ababa, were flattened when the largest pile of rubbish collapsed on Saturday. It was not clear what caused Saturday night's collapse, though residents have said the dumping of trash had resumed there in recent months after protests at a newer Sendafa Sanitary Landfill.

    Koshe, whose name means “dirt” in local slang, was closed last year by city authorities who asked people to move to a new dump site outside Addis Ababa. But the community there did not want the landfill, and so the garbage collectors moved back. Last year, farmers in Sendafa Landfill, the new waste disposal and recycling centre of the city, refused to allow garbage to be dumped in the area. A tragedy squatters living there blamed on a biogas plant being built nearby.

    Many of the victims were squatters who scavenged for a living in the 30-hectare dump, officials said. Hundreds of waste-pickers work at the landfill every day, and others find cheap housing there. Many of the mud-and-stick houses were buried under the rubble, and dozens of people so far have received medical treatment, it was learned from the nearby ALERT Hospital where the injured have been taken. 

    Image: Sky News

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