Protest causes rubbish to pile up in Addis Ababa

Farmers protesting at landfill site are blocking rubbish trucks from Addis Ababa.

Rubbish has been piling up across Addis Ababa since mid-July due to protestors blocking city garbage trucks from accessing the capital's new waste disposal and recycling centre Sendafa.

The protest is being staged by farmers whose lands surround the new facility, located in the Oromia region north-east of Addis Ababa.

Since the protest began, the city has stopped collecting rubbish from about half a million homes in Addis Ababa and there are reports of unrecognised garbage collectors removing garbage, for a fee, and dumping it in unknown destinations.

Built by French construction company VINCI Grands Projets, the 137-hectare Sendafa landfill site is designed to provide waste management services for over 3.5 million residents of the capital, as well as serving nearby Oromia towns.

Sendafa replaced the city’s Rappi dump, commonly as Koshe, which recently closed after 50 years. The 36-hectare landfill site, also in the Oromia region, was deemed no longer viable by city management which says that Sendafa has a life expectancy of 30 years.

The farmers whose land was purchased compulsorily by the government, to make way for the new rubbish site, received compensation equivalent to the potential ten-year agricultural earnings.