The bones of some people who died years back have been uncovered by a private developer who was digging a trench at the cemetery.
Lang’ata locals were shocked to their marrow on Thursday to find some skeletons and coffins which were exposed in an extremely illegal digging.
The developer built houses at the adjacent Royal Park estate and currently wants to dispose raw sewage via the open trenches.
And of all places he chose such a large burial ground, in which had been buried dead male and female adults as well as children.
A team from City Hall led by health executive Bernard Muia, area MCA Alex Otieno and officials from the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) went to see the site on Wednesday.
According to Otieno, the diggers dug so deeply up to the third layer, excavating bodies that were buried as long as five years ago.
“Bodies are buried in layers (at the Lang’ata Cemetery). The first layer is the deepest… bodies there have decomposed,” he said.
Usually, grave depth is six feet but a cemetery attendant said they were only digging up three feet to take as much bodies as possible.
Muia described the ditch as a health hazard, adding that the developers action is very “disrespect to resting souls”.
Quizzically he said, “How can a private developer purchase land and build houses where souls are resting. This is against our culture and we will not allow it”.
The executive threatened to sue the estate’s welfare association if the trenches are not refilled in 24 hours.
“I will not sit at City Hall while cemetery land is grabbed,” he said.
Elijah Choti, the NCWSC official in charge of sewers, added that the developer’s action is illegal as he didn’t obtain approval before embarking on the earthwork.
“There is a main sewer line is this area. The developer was simply required to apply for the houses or the state to be connected to it,” he said. “What he is doing is illegal. We will make the trenches are refilled within 24 hours.”
The burial ground was declared full two decades ago. However, the city has marked a new site for burials; but previous attempts have led to scandals.
It’s so sad that even the dead can’t be granted rest!