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Koshe Landfill and biogas plant, Ethiopia

The massive rubbish dump known as Koshe or Repi or Reppi in the outskirts of Addis Ababa slid down on 11 March 2017 provoking the death of at least 113 waste-pickers and a dozen of injured.


The massive rubbish dump known as Koshe (that it means dirt in Aramaic) or Repi or Reppi in the outskirts of Addis Ababa slid down on 11 March 2017 provoking the death of at least 113 people and a dozen of injured. The landslide also levelled more than 30 makeshift homes built of mud and sticks where perhaps more than 300 people of squatters were living.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Koshe Landfill and biogas plant, Ethiopia
State or province:Addis Ababa
Location of conflict:Addis Ababa
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

A biogas plant project is under construction and it aims to burn 1,400 tons of Repi garbage daily and generate 185 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually. Cambridge Industries, the development and construction company that is spearheading the project, estimates that it could power 25 percent of the capital’s households. The 50 MW waste to energy plant could be the first of 35, according to a report by Capital Ethiopia. The facility will be owned by the state power utility company Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and will provide around 100 skilled jobs in the area.(11)

Project area:36-hectare
Level of Investment for the conflictive project120,000,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2003
Company names or state enterprises:Cambridge Industries Ldt from United Kingdom
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
International ejos
Wastepickers, recyclers
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Fires, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Global warming, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Malnutrition, Deaths
Potential: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Violations of human rights
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries


the Integration of Informal Actors in Public Solid Waste Management in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African Studies Quarterly | Volume 11, Issues 2 & 3 | Spring 2010
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

(4)Aljazeera, Addis Ababa: Death toll hits 113 in rubbish landslide, 15 MARCH 2017
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(6) The Guardian, Death toll from rubbish dump landslide in Ethiopia rises to 65, Monday 13 March 2017
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CBNews, Dozens killed in Ethiopia garbage dump landslide, March 12 2017
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(5) Caroline Knowles, Inside Addis Ababa's Koshe rubbish tip: where hundreds literally scratch a living, The Guardian, Friday 22 August 2014
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(6) The Guardian, Death toll from rubbish dump landslide in Ethiopia rises to 65, 13 March 2017
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(3)Aljazeera, Death toll soars to 82 in Addis Ababa rubbish landslide, 14 MARCH 2017
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(2)Aljazeera, Addis Ababa: Massive rubbish landslide kills dozens, 12 MARCH 2017
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(11)HADRA AHMED and JACEY FORTIN, As Trash Avalanche Toll Rises in Ethiopia, Survivors Ask Why, The New York Times, MARCH 20, 2017
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(1)La Repubblica, Etiopia, frana nella discarica di Addis Abeba: almeno 46 le vittime, 12 March 2017
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Briana Duggan, Ryan Prior and Joe Sterling, Ethiopian landslide puts focus on landfill squatters, CNN, 13 March 2017
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Meta information
Contributor:Carla Petricca
Last update11/04/2017
Conflict ID:2734
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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