A family in Orokwo location in Baringo Central was yesterday forced to carry the body of their loved one on their shoulders and trek with it for four kilometres due to lack of a road leading to the man’s homestead.
The body of Kibowen Cherutich was picked from Baringo County Referral Hospital Mortuaty for burial in his home in Kapkokwon village.
The 88-year-old man died in his grass-thatched house on Monday night after a short illness.
“We were forced to carry the coffin from Kabarnet airstrip to his home, some four kilometres away,” Bowen Mengich said.
The 60-year-old man asked both the national and county governments to open up rural roads for easy movements.
He said there was no road to access the village, which in inhabited by an estimated 300 people.
“Many residents have succumbed to snake bites because we can’t even access emergency services due to bad roads. Even motorbikes cannot access this area,” Mengich said.
Another resident, 48-year-old David Ng’etich said bodies have often been carried in the same fashion for burial. “This place is bushy. We are always at risk of bites from scorpions and snakes whenever we walk through the thickets and rocky paths. You can also slide and break your leg on the sloppy terrain if you aren’t careful,” Ng’etich said.
He said the government should construct a road in the area. “We also pay taxes like other citizens,” he said.
Rose Kemboi said poor roads have forced many expectant mothers to give birth by the roadside because it takes a long time to reach the nearest hospital.
“We wonder why there are good roads in neighboring counties like Elgeyo-Marakwet and Uasin Gishu yet we also have a county government and the state,” Kemboi said.
Four months ago, governor Stanley Kiptis launched a Rapid Response Initiative (RRI) called ‘Imarisha Barabara’ which was aimed at open up the villages by repairing feeder roads.
“We had to put the programme on hold due to heavy rains. We hope to resume when the downpour subsides,” Kiptis said in May.
Although the heavy rains stopped in June, the programme has not resumed.