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BBC Focus on Africa Magazine

Living by Ethiopia's Sewage Canal

In a small shack made of iron sheets and pieces of clothing in the slums of Addis Ababa live the Alemu family - Abiy, Marasit Bishaw, and the couple's three-year-old son and 25-day-old baby daughter Yanit.

And just a few metres from their one-room home is a mass of sewage and garbage, mixed with the carcasses of dead chickens and cow and goat skulls.

The Alemus live near the gully where the Kabena river used to meander gracefully through the Ethiopian capital.

But the river is now full of the city's waste, and a stench of sewage is the first thing that hits.