Ethiopia: Victim Families Scuffle With Landslide Site Rescue Workers

Police officers secure the perimeter at the scene of a garbage landslide, as excavators aid rescue efforts, on the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 12, 2017.

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Addis Ababa – Relatives pushed and shoved the handful of emergency workers, angrily accusing them of delays and saying dozens of people were still missing after Saturday’s disaster at the Reppi dump in the capital of Addis Ababa.

Hundreds of people live on the 50-year-old dump, the city’s only landfill site, scavenging for food and items they can sell such as recyclable metal. The landslide destroyed 49 homes.

“Nobody is helping us. We are doing all the digging ourselves. It is shameful,” Kaleab Tsegaye, a relative of one victim told Reuters.

On Monday, hundreds of people gathered at the scene, weeping and praying. Some accuse the government of negligence.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, but the drive to industrialize has also stoked discontent among those who feel left behind.

In October, the government imposed a national state of emergency after more than 500 people were killed in protests in Oromiya region as anger over a development scheme sparked broader anti-government demonstrations.
– Reuters