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Looming crisis as burial is allowed on exhausted site

By | March 8th 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Nakuru County

A crisis looms in Nakuru town, as the local council lacks space to bury more dead.The Commonwealth Soldiers’ Cemetery, commonly known as Nakuru North Cemetery, is full, but the council has continued to authorise burials there for lack of alternative site. The alternative would be Nakuru South Cemetery, but it filled up two years ago.

Nakuru Citywide Residents Association says the town is on the threshold of a major crisis, unless an alternative burial site is identified and secured as a matter of priority.

Bereaved families during a burial at the Nakuru North Cemetery last weekend. The cemetery was closed down two years ago. Photo: Boniface Thuku/ Standard

"We are concerned that the council has continued to allow people to be buried at the site despite declaring the cemetery full and closing it down two years ago," the association Chairman George Mwangi said.

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There have been claims that due to lack of space, bodies are being re-buried in the graves at the cemetery.

Residents said the council has continued to dig more graves despite the cemetery filling up taking even the space reserved for a road in the area.

Mwangi called on the Government to move in and allocate an alternative burial ground to save the situation.

Town Clerk Kaio Mbulusi, however, said they had invited those with land near the town intending to sell it to the Council to come forward.

Alternative site

"We have set in motion the process of acquiring alternative burial site by inviting those with 50 acres of land within 18km from the town to come forward," the town clerk said.

He, however, denied claims that bodies were being re-buried.

The town clerk said the Council after identifying the land for purchase would approach the Ministry of Local Government to provide funds for acquisition of the land.

Four years ago, after realising the graveyard was fast filling-up, the council doubled the rates per grave to Sh20,000, but it did not deter the residents.

Nakuru Business Association Chairman Boniface Muhia said the Council should not claim to have no funds to acquire a new cemetery.

He challenged the council to explain what happened to the funds they had been charging grave users.

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