Search for new Nakuru cemetery hits a dead end
NAKURU municipal council is appealing to the government to help it get alternative land for the Nakuru north cemetery. The cemetery was set up in 1918 for World War I. The municipal's Chief public health officer, Stephen Kimani said the cemetery is full and the council's effort to find another land for the last five years has been fruitless. He pleaded with the government to find land on behalf of the council, as most people are not willing to sell their land because of cultural beliefs.
Town Clerk Wilson Maroa said negotiations between the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Finance to get funds for the cemetery land have been going on. “We have set aside Sh25 million which is not enough. We need about Sh50 million," said Maroa on phone. Public cemeteries in Nakuru are all full and getting a burial site is hard. In the two main public cemeteries, residents have been forced to recycle old graves.
The town’s only other such facility, the Nakuru south cemetery, has virtually no space left. The grave matter is has been worrying the council. The problem has been compounded by poor planning and land grabbing. A few years ago, the council attempted to discourage residents from using the Nakuru north cemetery by hiking burial charges from Sh5,000 to Sh 20,000 per burial site.
The plan did not work as the cemetery is mainly used by the well to do. The former Nakuru Business Association chairman Boniface Muhia says the issue needs to be attended to urgently. "The grave diggers are abusing the rights of the dead, as we all know the cemetery was closed more than two years ago," said Muhia.