Rescue workers clear rubbish as they continue to search for survivors

At least 17 people – including children – have been killed in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, and many more injured after a huge mound of rubbish collapsed.

Reports say the pile of waste, some 15m high, gave way in heavy rains at 03:00 hours (01:00 GMT) on yesterday.

The dump is known to be home to some of the city’s poorest residents, who build makeshift camps amid the rubbish.

Five homes on the edge were also crushed in the disaster.

Rescue workers are continuing to search for survivors.

A spokesman for the emergency services, Leonilde Pelembe, warned it was likely there were more victims under the waste.

The Hulene district of Maputo is one of the most deprived parts of the capital.

Many, including children, have little choice but to make their homes either on or next to the dump.

It is said that the dump does not only provide them with food but also goods to sell.

Prior to the collapse, the authorities had asked residents vacate the area because their homes were constructed illegally.

The city of Maputo has experienced heavy rainfall since yesterday, which has damaged homes and flooded roads.

In the poorer suburbs of cities such as Maputo, people sometimes live on land they do not own in the hope of finding work.

The dwellings can be built on land that is unsafe.

 

-BBC