The site is located in the southwestern part of Addis Ababa. It has been in operation for about 50 years and, in 2014, was about 36 hectares but shrinking as the result of regulation. A community of hundreds of rubbish pickers lived and worked there. They were known as "scratchers" as they typically carried a metal hook to pry open the waste which was compressed and delivered by garbage trucks.
In March 2017, a landslide at the site killed more than 113 people, as recovery continues the death toll is expected to rise. The country announced three day-national mourning, following the incident. Communications Minister, Negeri Lencho declared that 38 males and 75 females, lost their lives in this tragic event.
Dumping of waste at Koshe landfill began in 1964, prior to that year, it was an unofficial site for burning dead animals. The landfill is located in Southwest Addis Ababa within the boundaries of Nifas Silk-Lafto and Kolfe Keranio. When Koshe became active, the surrounding area was sparsely populated and beyond the municipal master plan for Addis Ababa. Though, it was the only landfill in the capital city, few documented environmental studies were conducted or published for over 40 years.
Koshe is not a fenced site and has an inadequate buffer between it and other land use activities such as farming and schools, exposing many residents to environmental and health risks. In addition, the area is open to temporary and permanent scavengers. The landfill hosts about 500 scavengers who sell recovered materials from the waste to businesses and farmers.
The facility is being gradually phased out and replaced by a sanitary landfill in Oromia Special Zone, as of 2014, close to 17 hectares have been closed. Part of the land has been put to use including the construction of a ring road highway, siting of a proposed recycling center and a waste to energy project. In August 2016, protesting farmers blocked the pathway to the new landfill forcing the municipal government to direct solid waste disposal back to Koshe.
On March 11, 2017, a landslide at Koshe led to the deaths of 113 people  as a number of makeshift buildings were buried in garbage. The majority of the victims were women and children who lived and worked at the dump site selling materials recovered from the waste.
On March 13, 2017, the government began to relocate individuals residing at the dump site to temporary housing.
On 18 March 2017, a government spokesman say that landslide survivors will no longer live at the site and the site will be turned into a park and green space.
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