Undercover plans by a private developer to build a cemetery in Kiamaina, Bahati in Nakuru County have hit a dead end.
The Nakuru County Assembly Health committee has rejected the proposed cemetery by Mr Muhesh Kumal of Maya Emporium, saying he was not sincere in his plans when he purchased the land.
“This parcel of land was previously owned by Kings Outreach Ministry who later transferred, by way of sale, to a private developer named Mahesh Kumal (Maya Emporium),” read the committee’s report.
The committee’s chairman Peter Njuguna, who is also the Elburgon Ward MCA, said the proposed cemetery lies on a six acres piece of land and was earmarked to accommodate 400 bodies.
The report revealed that Mr Kumal duped the locals that he intended to construct a hotel but to their surprise, he changed his plans and is constructing a private cemetery contrary to their wishes.
The assembly committee now recommends a school or a hospital to be built in the area instead of the proposed cemetery.
The department of Public Health was directed to take charge of the situation and make sure no cemetery is constructed.
Area MCA Isaac Wahome said the residents are totally opposed to the cemetery plans.
“During a public participation meeting, the residents unanimously rejected the construction of the cemetery and their decision is well documented,” said Mr Wahome.
According to the report, there is no signage as required by the construction rules indicating the name of the contractor, name of the proprietor, the proposed project and expected date of completion.
At the same time, the health committee observed that the drainage outlets from the perimeter fence pose a health risk to the residents during rainy seasons as the area is sloppy.
“There is also the danger of the perimeter fence collapsing and it may cause injuries to the residents living nearby,” said the report.
Interestingly, Nakuru County is facing a serious shortage of public cemeteries as all the two in Nakuru town and one each in Njoro, Gilgil, Subukia and Molo, are full.
In Subukia the residents have turned the cemetery into a dumpsite.
In other areas, the cemeteries are now being recycled to accommodate fresh bodies.
Residents are burying their loved ones on footpaths within the graveyards and along perimeter fences.
The county is yet to buy new cemetery land even as the crisis worsens.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s administration is facing challenges in identifying burial space as locals have opposed the purchase of land for a cemetery near their residential homes on cultural grounds.
The county has set aside Sh45 million for the purchase of cemetery land in the 2018/2019 financial year.