Unclaimed bodies choke Nakuru mortuaries - Daily Nation
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Unclaimed bodies choke Nakuru mortuaries

Tuesday May 29 2018

Cemetry

A cemetery. At Nakuru Level Five Hospital mortuary, more than half of its capacity is occupied by unclaimed bodies. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By MAGDALENE WANJA
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Nakuru County is grappling with the challenge of unclaimed bodies in its main mortuaries.

According to the County Public Health Officer Samuel King’ori, 50 bodies have been lying  at the county and Nakuru Level Five Hospital Mortuaries awaiting identification and collection for more than five months.

Mr King’ori says the bodies bodies will be buried once the court gives a go-ahead.

COURT ORDER

“Usually the process involves acquiring a court order and a 21-day notice calling on members of the public to come and identify the bodies but in most of the cases no one shows up,” said Mr King’ori.

At Nakuru Level Five Hospital mortuary, more than half of the capacity is occupied by unclaimed bodies.

The hospital’s medical superintendent Joseph Mburu said the mortuary has 39 unclaimed bodies yet it has a capacity of 72 bodies.

He said 14 bodies were brought in January.

MASS GRAVE

“We have already acquired permission for disposal of 21 bodies which are ready for burial once the county government gives us some space, while the remaining 18 will be on a later date,” said Dr Mburu.

Usually the bodies will be buried in a mass grave.

Every year, the county government has to incur costs that come with preserving the bodies, among them electricity bills.

PRESERVED

“The bodies have to be preserved like the rest despite the duration they take at the facility,” said Dr Mburu.

Most of the cemeteries in the county are almost full and the number of reserved graves at the North cemetery, which is the main graveyard are only 57.

In 2017, the county government buried 97 unclaimed bodies in a mass grave at the South cemetery.