Nakuru County Government will turn the filled up Nakuru North Cemetery into a recreational park, County Chief Officer in charge of Public Health has disclosed.
Dr Samuel King’ori said the devolved unit has drafted the Nakuru County Cemetery Bill that seeks to transform the management of public cemeteries.
The draft bill will first be forwarded to the executive for approval before it is sent to the county assembly.
The bill will set aside funds to maintain the cemetery as a recreational facility.
“Nakuru North Cemetery is one of the heritages of this town and we want to mark it in a special way like the world war graves in Europe and elsewhere,” said Dr King’ori. He said they will ensure that all the cemetery is well maintained.
“The maintenance of this cemetery and planting of flowers will be done by the county government,” said Dr King’ori.
He said the county will buy equipment such as modern lawn mowers and water sprinklers.
“We are planning to spend Sh3 million in the current financial year to put up a new perimeter wall,” said Dr King’ori.
“Before the end of this year, Nakuru North Cemetery will have new face,” he said.
Meanwhile Dr King’ori announced that the county government has set aside Sh15 million to buy another burial site.
However, he said it has not been easy to secure land in all the 11 sub-counties.
“We floated the Expression of Interest notice but nobody has come forward to show interest in selling land to the county government,” said Dr King’ori.
Dr King’ori revealed that even after extending the notice of Expression of Interest period, nobody has shown interest in selling land to the county government.
“Nakuru will soon become a city and if we don’t plan well, it will be chaotic in the next few years. That is why we are looking for land outside the town,” he said.
He said the county is intending to buy land for a new cemetery in Gilgil, Rongai and Njoro sub counties.
“We have unsuccessfully tried to buy land in Bahati. Most of the land has been subdivided into plots,” he added.
He said that most private developers are opposed to having a cemetery next to their investments.
“The investors argue that having a cemetery next to their properties will lower the value of their properties,” said Dr King’ori. Nakuru North Cemetery got filled up in 2015.
However, Dr King’ori said that residents who had reserved the graves at Sh100,000 before devolution were still burying their loved ones. He announced that the reserved burial spaces reduced to 34 by mid October 2019.
The cemetery is also a graveyard for Jewish nationals. It also has Commonwealth war graves for the fallen First and Second World War soldiers.