The Mozambican capital Maputo is reeling following the death of at least 17 people, and the injury of others, following the collapse of a 15-metre garbage pile which buried seven houses, Reuters reported.
Monday’s collapse happened at around 3 am in the impoverished Hulene neighbourhood, which is around 10 km from the centre of Maputo.
“Up to now 17 dead bodies were recovered. We fear more might be unaccounted for. So we will keep searching for bodies buried underneath the garbage pile,” a councillor for Ka Mavota Municipal District, Despedida Rita, told reporters.
The houses were particularly vulnerable as they were built illegally causing the authorities to warn the residents to leave, according to officials.
Poverty and land pressure in many African cities lead to squatter camps being built nearer urban centres as the poor seek employment and higher wages closer to city centres, often building their makeshift homes on unstable ground.
– African News Agency (ANA)