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Outcry in Nakuru over recycling of graves

11 February 2015, 21:57 Robert Chepkwony

Nakuru - MPs from Nakuru are faulting the area Governor, Kinuthia Mbugua over the recycling of graves at Nakuru North cemetery, claiming that the county government has embezzled funds meant for purchase of more land.

Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria, who is a former Mayor for the defunct Nakuru Municipality, said that he declared closed the cemetery in the year 2010.

“During my tenure as the Mayor in this municipality between 2008 and 2010, I officially closed down the north cemetery so as to start the process of obtaining an alternative land,” said Gikaria.

He said the cemetery established in 1918 for the World War I soldiers has been attracting KES 20 000 per burial space, while the south cemetery meant for the poor has been attracting KES 3 000.

The Public Health Act stipulates that concerned authority will avail a burial site and when it is full, it should be closed and an alternative land sought.

On his part, Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri claimed that there have been incidences of the dead being buried at four-feet depth in order to avoid interfering with dead bodies below.

Read Also: Raila mourns death of Homa Bay ODM chairperson

“I recently had, in my constituency, a woman killed by her husband. The most shocking thing is that they were sold a space at KES 20 000 and told to do a 4-feet grave,” said Ngunjiri.

A spot check at the north’s cemetery met with relatives of the dead overseeing cementing of their beloved ones' graves in order to assist in commemoration and avoid reselling of the sites.

Legislator Gikaria said relatives have had hard time commemorating their dead since their graves had been reused.

Gikaria hinted that the defunct municipal council had set aside KES 50 million towards acquisition more cemetery land.

County Executive in charge of Environment, Richard Rop, in an earlier interview with the media said they had already issued expression of interest to acquire at least 100 acres of land in Naivasha, Gilgil or Molo areas.

“Once we get the parcel of land, we are targeting to establish modern land fill in 30 acres for garbage disposal and the other 70 acres to go for the cemetery,” said Rop, but was quick again to claim opposition from local community.

Gikaria reiterated the need to respect the dead, pleading with the County government to account for the over KES 50 million handed over to the County.

He at the same time challenged the Members of the County assembly to be awake in their oversight role, an assembly currently singing the Governor’s song despite public outcry.

“The County Assembly of Nakuru has failed in its oversight role. It should be speaking on behalf of the residents of the County in such matters,” he said.

Sometimes back, worried of space availability, some individuals opted to book 15 burial spaces at the cemetery at a cost of KES 100 000, the only available space at the moment.

MP Ngunjiri asked the Governor to act rather than leaving the all important sector to a few individuals to steal from the public by allocating used space.

He also hit out at the MCAs to highlight the menace which he said is a disaster for the town.

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