The life of waste collectors in Addis Ababa is not dissimilar to a burning kindle. They make the capital clean and bright while their very lives are hung by a thread. Each day, they move from door to door with pushcarts to collect garbage, just to get ETB0.71 per kilogram of collected waste. They have families but are homeless and excluded from social structures.
However, even that has become luxury for the close to 400 residents of a garbage collection site who recently lost everything in a fire accident and have to return to the streets with babies, elders, and pregnant women. Ironically, the city administration, local officials, and NGOs are all silent even a month after the major fire accident damaged all that they had. The fairy Addis Ababa is deaf to a number of flaws in its urban texture, all the while being a diplomatic hub. EBR’s Mersha Tiruneh investigates how the lives of hundreds of Addis Ababa’s cleaning workers have gone down the dust bin.