Kisumu inters 61 unclaimed bodies in mass grave

Move seeks to free morgues as region continues to record high numbers of Covid-19 cases

In Summary
  • Official says mass burial was done after getting a go ahead from the courts.
  • He noted county was doing everything to contain the spread of the virus.


The Kisumu government has disposed of 61 unclaimed bodies through mass burial at the Mamboleo public cemetery.

The move seeks to free the morgues as the region continues to record high numbers of Covid-19 cases.

According to county director of health Fred Oluoch, the mass burial was done after getting a go-ahead from the courts.

Speaking during a Covid-19 conference in Kisumu by MESHA with Internews and Kemri, Oluoch noted that 16 more bodies will also be buried if their families don't collect them as earlier stated.

"Some 16 more bodies are set for mass burial after getting clearance from the court but the county is giving a one-week notice for the families to collect their loved ones," he said.

He noted that the county was doing everything within its means to contain the spread of the virus.

Early last month, Kisumu county attorney Edris Omondi said despite numerous notices, the bodies were still lying unclaimed and uncollected at various health facilities within the county.

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital has 51 bodies, Kisumu District 16 and Port Florence Hospital two.

The county government released the names of nine contacts or family members who they were unable to reach.

"This is to notify the public to help trace the kin or contact persons of the nine bodies because the contacts provided cannot be reached. The bodies are lying at Kisumu District Hospital."

"Anybody with information of relatives is advised to inform them to collect the bodies for burial with immediate effect, failure to which the bodies will be buried by the county government immediately we conclude the necessary legal requirements," he had said.

Health executive Boaz Nyunya said, "We have established that the prolonged stay of bodies in the mortuaries leads to abuse of burial protocols, eventually making it difficult to control the number of mourners attending such ceremonies".

As stated earlier, bodies must be released from the mortuaries by 10am, within 48 hours of the death, and must be buried the same day.

Nyunya said mortuaries are under instructions not to accept bodies brought in from outside their premises, except in police cases. 

-Edited by SKanyara