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Author’s Note: The purported prime minster of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, is a sanitary engineer with a master’s degree from Tampere University of Technology (TUT) in Finland. The sanitary engineering profession is concerned with the removal and disposal of human waste and finding ways of supplying safe potable water.
Last week, under Desalegn’s personal watch nearly 200 people were buried when a “mountain of garbage” at a landfill commonly known as “Qoshe”, some 13 miles southwest of the capital, collapsed on an adjacent neighborhood.
In May 2017, Desalegn is slated to receive an honorary doctoral degree from TUT. An honorary degree (honoris causa) is given to an individual for outstanding contributions to a specific field of human endeavor or for exceptional contributions to a particular society or the world community.
It is mind boggling for me to consider how a renowned university such as TUT could even consider presenting an honorary doctoral degree to a sanitation engineer who sat at the pinnacle of power and watched in depraved indifference for years and did nothing to prevent the needless deaths of some 200 persons from a collapsing mountain of garbage.
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