Authorities in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, have started disbursement of compensation to persons affected by a deadly landslide that hit the country in March this year.
The Voice of America’s (VOA) Amharic service reports that over $4 million is being disbursed adding that funds were raised from private and government donations in the wake of the tragedy.
Official records indicate that 115 people were killed by the Koshe landfill landslide. Several others were injured forcing authorities to relocate people living in the area. Addis Ababa has also stated that the site will be converted into a waste-to-energy plant.
The site was the city’s only landfill facility and hundreds of people lived near the dump. Most of the victims were persons who scavenged for food and items that could be sold, such as recyclable metal.
“There were large efforts to make sure that there aren’t bodies still buried under [the trash],” Ephrem Gizaw, head of Addis Ababa’s Labor and Social Affairs Bureau told the VOA.
His view quashes the position of residents that at least 80 people remain unaccounted for. Dozens of victims were buried at the Abune Aregawi Church. The direct cause of the incident has yet to be communicated by the authorities.
The Horn of Africa nation declared three days of national mourning after the incident. Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, but the drive to industrialize has also stoked discontent among those who feel left behind.
Affected persons expressed mixed feelings about the compensation package, whiles some said the authorities were fulfilling their promise to them, others were concerned about the dire situation they are faced with at the resettlement camps.