Health crisis hit Naivasha public cemetery

Longonot public cemetery in Naivasha where a pack of dogs and hyenas exhumed some of the 19 bodies that were disposed by public health last week. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]
A sanitation crisis has hit the only public cemetery in Naivasha due to lack of water and toilets forcing mourners to relieve themselves in the bushes.

There are now fears of a disease outbreak in Longonot where the cemetery is located due to the current crisis.

Trouble started after the Naivasha town cemetery was closed down last year after it filled up with the mourners now using the one near Longonot town.

The facility does not have washing rooms and for the last one year members of the public have been using bushes next to Mt Longonot national park.

According to a local leader Joel Waithuki, they had raised their concerns with the county government but their grievances had not been addressed.

He said that the facility was serving tens of mourners every week but the county had failed to build a toilet around the area.

“There are no toilets here and water is dream and we fear that this might lead to a disease outbreak as members of the public are openly using the bushes,” he said.

Members of the public mill at the Longonot public cemetery in Naivasha where a pack of dogs and hyenas exhumed some of the 19 bodies that were disposed by public health last week. Area residents gave the government officers a two day ultimatum to exhume and bury the bodies afresh failure to which they would seek legal action. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]
A junior officer from Nakuru County government who is not authorized to speak to the press admitted that the issue had been raised with them.

“This is the only available cemetery in Naivasha and we have raised the issue of water and toilets to our bosses and we are waiting for funds,” said the worker.

Meanwhile, a Naivasha court has issued an order to dispose 27 uncollected bodies that have been lying in the town’s mortuary for the last five months.

The order follows an application by the department of public health to dispose the bodies some of which are decomposing in a public cemetery.

The bodies, majority of whom were collected by police either from accident scenes or dumped along the highways, have overstretched services in the facility.

The order from Naivasha law courts gave the department the authority to inter the bodies at Longonot cemetery with immediate effect.

A senior officer from the department said that the exercise could be carried out over the weekend or on Monday as per the court order.

“We have in the past issued several notices to members of the public but since the bodies have not been collected we have to dispose them in a public cemetery,” said the officer.

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Mt Longonot national parkNakuru CountyNaivasha cemetery