, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan – Expansion of the city mortuary will start in April this year, according to Town Clerk Philip Kisia.
Speaking during an impromptu visit to the morgue on Wednesday, Mr Kisia said the present capacity was grossly inadequate to deal with the high population in the city.
"There is need to build a new facility that can accommodate the current population with all the necessary infrastructure. There is need to re-look at the land use, two and a half acres is more than adequate because in Europe you will be lucky to have a mortuary with even a quarter of an acre," he said.
"Here we have two and a half acres and we should even have accommodation for our staff here because they work late," he added.
He has directed the departments of City Planning and Engineering to draw up plans for the expansion within the next four months.
"This facility was meant to serve a population of 150,000 people. Now we have over three million people living in Nairobi and I can tell you that more than half of the people who are brought here are murder and police cases," he pointed out.
"They are not paid for yet we must keep their bodies here, we must treat their bodies before we release them back to their people or even sometimes we end up burying them in a mass grave," he stated.
Mr Kisia further lauded the improvement in the management of the City Mortuary but says more still needs to be done.
"I paid another surprise visit to the morgue in December and I found it not in a very good state but really there is an improvement in terms of cleanliness and staff being serious with their work but we need to go beyond what we have," he said.
Mr Kisia emphasised the need to build a private wing at the Nairobi City Mortuary in a bid to generate revenue needed for better service provision.
The Town Clerk said that large tracts of land currently occupied by the facility lie bare and are going to waste.
He stated that building an income generating wing at the mortuary will raise its standards apart from provision of better services to residents.
"This facility was made by the colonial government. The colonial masters made something for the Africans and now we must make something for ourselves, but what have we been doing all this time ourselves?" he posed.
He said the initiative will further improve the living standard of employees at the city mortuary.
"Why can\’t we make money? People like Montezuma started this business just the other day and are doing better than us," he stated.
"You know there are only three areas you can make money. The stomach since people must eat. In health, whether you have money or not you must go to hospital and another important area is in education."