Social media reaction to rubbish landslide tragedy

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The minute news broke of the landslide at vast rubbish in Addis Ababa, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter were inundated with a huge volume of messages. Many Ethiopians at home and abroad have taken to social media to post their shock and condolence following the tragedy which left at least forty eight people dead and several injured. The news made it to major western media, BBC, Sky News, Aljazeera, the New York Times, Wall street Journal, the Guardian, Le Figaro, Time. So are reactions. An Addis Ababa resident Shaik Imam took to Facebook to send his thoughts with all those affected: «This was an unspeakable tragedy. The entire nation grieves along with all the families who suffered such tremendous loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to each and every family involved.”
Journalist Yonas Abiye commented on his Facebook page on the not rapid reaction from the country’s leaders. He said that this sad news featured on EBC’s night hour was followed by news of the PM celebrating (recognizing) model farmers. “In fact it is commendable to see a leader celebrating farmers whose contribution of feeding a nation is priceless. But, what makes such tragic news the saddest and most mournful is to witness moments when a leader fails to visit victims and their families in a show of sharing their mourning. It is extremely painful when a state of head takes long time or being reluctant to show compassions for survivors who sustain severe injuries. Ohhhh how many times we see the government going on being heartless during tragic incidence yet the entire nation is bump with unbearable and bitterly mournful feelings. In a situation of such fatalities that fellows citizens have fallen in to the hands of deaths, celebrating other part of the community is no less dancing in a party,”
Gifti Bedada reflected to the larger problems of trash problem in the city. She wrote that “Oh this sad news has so many layers to it. Our beloved city Addis Ababa has a major trash problem many of us find concerning, believing not enough is being done both by residents or government officials to combat the problem. That said, this sad story gives insight into collection (or lack there of), disposal, or treatment of rubbish landfills in Addis Ababa, the need to reinforce necessary infrastructure, and the lives and plights of poor people who make a living recycling what they find in rubbish landfills. It also speaks volumes about those who live in make shift shelters next to rubbish piles in landfills including the unfortunate souls who perished when this rubbish landslide happened. And to think many are still unaccounted for. RIP”
Tedla G Woldeyohannes, a social media activist and scholar, has even a harsher words against the government, saying “this is the truth about my country where the people in power steal billions of dollars to lead life that has no connection whatsoever, none, to the tragic reality of fellow citizens whose stories we’ve heard. If anyone deserves to be buried alive in Ethiopia, there is no doubt that those in power in the Ethiopian government are the ones that deserve such justice,”
Journalist Tesfalem Waldeyes praised the Addis Ababa based Sheger FM for observing the loss of by playing light instrumental music.

Arefayné Fantahun
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